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Comparative European Politics

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 21–48 | Cite as

Measuring Political Deliberation: A Discourse Quality Index

  • Marco R Steenbergen
  • André Bächtiger
  • Markus Spörndli
  • Jürg Steiner
Original Article

Abstract

In this paper, we develop a discourse quality index (DQI) that serves as a quantitative measure of discourse in deliberation. The DQI is rooted in Habermas' discourse ethics and provides an accurate representation of the most important principles underlying deliberation. At the same time, the DQI can be shown to be a reliable measurement instrument due to its focus on observable behavior and its detailed coding instructions. We illustrate the DQI for a parliamentary debate in the British House of Commons. We show that the DQI yields reliable data and we discuss how these data could be used in subsequent analysis. We conclude by discussing some limitations of the DQI and by identifying some areas in which it could prove useful.

Keywords

deliberation discourse measurement parliamentary debate 

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco R Steenbergen
    • 1
  • André Bächtiger
    • 2
  • Markus Spörndli
    • 2
  • Jürg Steiner
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität BernBernSwitzerland

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