Citizens Juries: One Solution for Difficult Environmental Questions
This paper presents a particular method of citizen participation, the Citizens Jury1 process, as a novel way of obtaining citizen input on environmental questions. The Citizens Jury process uses random selection to impanel a group of citizens to study specific public policy issues or to review candidates in an election. The paper starts with an overview of the process, moves on to a discussion of using Citizens Juries on nuclear waste facilities and concludes with a review of how the process meets some general criteria of fairness and competency derived from the work of Jürgen Habermas.
KeywordsEqual Chance Good Judgment Citizen Participation Validity Claim Oversight Committee
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- 1.The Jefferson Center has been granted a service mark by the U.S. government for the term “Citizens Jury.” This was sought in order to prevent improper use of the method.Google Scholar
- 2.The four, besides the Jefferson Center, which have lasted for more than five years are the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (which lasted from the early 60’s to the mid-70’s), the Roosevelt Center (1981-1988), the Public Agenda Foundation (1976 to present) and the National Issues Forum (late 70’ s to present). The latter two are run under the auspices of the Kettering Foundation.Google Scholar
- 3.This approach should be compared to that of Bernard Williams who suggests that the primary question of moral philosophy should be Socrates’ question, “How should one live?”. See Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, Harvard University Press, 1985.Google Scholar
- 4.Crosby, Edwin L. Concern For All: (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Minnesota, 1973).Google Scholar