Using Quali-Quantitative Indicators for Assessing the Quality of Citizen Participation: A Study on Three Citizen Juries
- 140 Downloads
Over the last 3 decades, citizen involvement has become rather common in policymaking processes. Its rationale, as well as its potential benefits and limitations, are manifold. The literature on the evaluation of public participation is copious and it is crucial both to implement effective processes, and to achieve high-quality outcomes. Inspired by deliberative democracy theory, dialogue/fairness and knowledge/competence have been considered the two main criteria to assess the quality of deliberative processes. Based on the analysis of three citizen juries, the paper focuses on the process through which citizen deliberation occurs. Specifically, three properties related to dialogue, i.e., equity, cooperation, and cognitive openness, were treated as quality indicators of the deliberative process. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used, and three sources of data utilized: (a) semi-structured interviews to jurors; (b) post-jury questionnaires; and (c) jurors’ conversational turns. Altogether, the analyses showed that despite the imbalance in participation, the deliberation process was perceived as fair. However, findings also suggested that the participatory setting did not promote the ability of participants to generate new collective knowledge.
KeywordsDeliberation Citizen participation Evaluation Quality indicators
This work benefits from a research project “The quality of deliberation” (PRIN) funded by the Ministry of Education, University and Research of the Italian Government.
- Beauvais, E., & Baechtiger, A. (2016). Taking the goals of deliberation seriously: a differentiated view on equality and equity in deliberative designs and processes. Journal of Public Deliberation, 12(2), 1–18. http://www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol12/iss2/art2/.
- Beierle, T. C., & Cayford, J. (2002). Democracy in practice: Public participation in environmental decisions. Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future.Google Scholar
- Beste, S. (2013). Contemporary trends of deliberative research: Synthesizing a new study agenda. Journal of Public Deliberation, 9(2). http://www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol9/iss2/art1.
- Bobbio, L. (2013). La qualità della deliberazione [The quality of deliberation]. Roma: Carocci.Google Scholar
- Burton, P. (2003). Community involvement in neighbourhood regeneration: Stairway to heaven or road to nowhere?. Paper n. 13, ESRC Centre for Neighbourhood Research.Google Scholar
- Coelho, V. S. R. P., & Waisbich, L. (2016). Participatory mechanisms and inequality reduction: searching for plausible relations. Journal of Public Deliberation, 12(2). http://www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol12/iss2/art13.
- Cohen, J. (1996). Procedure and substance in deliberative democracy. In S. Benhabib (Ed.), Democracy and difference: Contesting the boundaries of the political (pp. 95–119). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1997). Deliberation and democratic legitimacy. In J. F. Bohman & W. Rehg (Eds.), Deliberative democracy: Essays on reason and politics (pp. 67–91). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- de Castro-Silva, C. R., & Cavichioli, S. (2013). La participación politíca en una ONG/SIDA y las posibilidades de emancipación en un contexto de exclusión social. Revista Interamericana de Psicología/Interamerican Journal of Psychology, 47, 9–16.Google Scholar
- Edwards, P., Hindmarsh, R., Merer, H., Bond, M., & Rowland, A. (2008). A three-stage evaluation of a deliberative event on climate change and transforming energy. Journal of Public Deliberation, 4(1). http://services.bepress.com/jpd/vol4/iss1/art6.
- Gastil, J., & Black, L. (2008). Public deliberation as the organizing principle of political communication research. Journal of Public Deliberation, 4(1). http://services.bepress.com/jpd/vol4/iss1/art3/.
- Grice, P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In P. Cole & J. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and semantics: Speech acts (Vol. 3, pp. 41–58). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Habermas, J. (1984). The theory of communicative action. Reason and the rationalization of society. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
- Habermas, J. (1989). The structural transformation of the public sphere. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Habermas, J. (1996). Between facts and norms: Contributions to a discourse theory of law and democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Jackson, D. N. (1984). Personality research form. Manual. Port Huron, MI: Research Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
- Janis, I. L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological studies of policy decisions and fiascos (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Kadlec, A., & Friedman, W. (2007). Deliberative democracy and the problem of power. Journal of Public Deliberation, 3(1). http://www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol3/iss1/art8.
- Karpowitz, C. F., & Mansbridge, J. (2005). Disagreement and consensus: The need for dynamic updating in public deliberation. Journal of Public deliberation, 1(1), 348–364. http://www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol1/iss1/art2/.
- Kruglanski, A., Raviv, A., Bar-Tal, D., Raviv, A., Sharvit, K., Ellis, S., et al. (2005). Says who?: Epistemic authority effects in social judgment. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 37, pp. 345–392). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Ledwith, M., & Springett, J. (2010). Participatory practice. Bristol, UK: Policy Press.Google Scholar
- Linnel, P., & Luckman, T. (1991). Asymmetries in dialogue: Some conceptual preliminaries. In I. Markova & K. Foppa (Eds.), Asymmetries in dialogue (pp. 1–20). Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
- Linnell, P., Gustavsson, L., & Juvonen, P. (1988). Interactional dominance in dyadic communication: A presentation of initiative-response analysis. Linguistics, 26, 415–442.Google Scholar
- Mannarini, T. (2011). Public involvement and competent communities: Towards a social psychology of public participation. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(7), 66–72.Google Scholar
- Mannarini, T. (2014). Riding paradox: Lessons learned from Italian participatory policy-making experiences. Interamerican Journal of Psychology, 48, 71–81.Google Scholar
- Mendelberg, T. (2002). The deliberative citizen: Theory and evidence. In M. X. Delli Carpini, L. Huddy, & R. Y. Shapiro (Eds.), Political decision-making, deliberation and participation. Research in Micropolitics (Vol. 6, pp. 151–194). Amsterdam Boston: Emerald Group Publishing.Google Scholar
- Mendelberg, T. (2006). Small group deliberation. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, PA.Google Scholar
- Montero, M. (2004). Introducción a la Psicología comunitaria. Buenos Aires: Paidos.Google Scholar
- Moscovici, S., & Doise, W. (1991). Dissensus et consensus. Une theéorie générale des decisions collectives. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
- Moscrop, D. R., & Warren, M. E. (2016). When is Deliberation democratic?. Journal of Public Deliberation, 12(2). http://www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol12/iss2/art4.
- Noelle-Neuman, E. (1984). The spiral of silence. A theory of public opinion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Nussbaum, M. (1999). Sex & social justice. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Stephens, J. B., & Berner, M. (2011). Learning from your neighbor: The value of public participation evaluation for public policy dispute resolution. Journal of Public Deliberation, 7(1), art. 10, http://services.bepress.com/jpd/vol7/iss1/art10.
- Stromer-Galley, J. (2007). Measuring deliberation’s content: A coding scheme. Journal of Public Deliberation, 3(1). http://services.bepress.com/jpd/vol3/iss1/art12.
- Sunstein, C. (2005). Group judgments: Statistical means, deliberation and information markets. New York University Law Review, 80, 962–1049.Google Scholar
- Sunstein, C. & Hastie, R. (2008). Fur failures of deliberating groups. Public law and legal theory working paper series. Retrieved April 28, 2017 from http://www.law.uchicago.edu/academics/publiclaw/index.html.
- The Jefferson Center (2004). Citizens jury handbook. Washington, DC. http://www.epfound.ge/files/citizens_jury_handbook.pdf. Accessed July 5, 2016.
- Webler, T., & Tuler, S. (2001). Public participation in watershed management planning: Views on process from people in the field. Human Ecology Review, 8(2), 29–39.Google Scholar
- Young, I. M. (2000). Democracy and inclusion. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar