author={David M. Ryfe},
  journal={Annual Review of Political Science},
  • D. Ryfe
  • Published 6 May 2005
  • Sociology
  • Annual Review of Political Science
▪ Abstract The growing literature on deliberative democratic practice finds that deliberation is a difficult and relatively rare form of communication. Each moment of a deliberative encounter raises significant obstacles in the path to stimulating greater intentional reflection on public issues. I explore these obstacles in the context of other empirical work in political and social psychology, small group communication, and public opinion. Taken together, these literatures explain why… 
Deliberative Democracy and the Neglected Dimension of Leadership
Although deliberative democracy is flourishing as a political theory, there is a need to properly acknowledge and theorize upon the role of leadership in deliberative processes. Leaders arise in all
Disentangling Diversity in Deliberative Democracy: Competing Theories, their Blind Spots, and Complementarities
IN the last decade deliberative democracy has developed rapidly from a “theoretical statement” into a “working theory.” Scholars and practitioners have launched numerous initiatives designed to put
Abstract Over recent years support for deliberative democracy as a regulative ideal against which political and economic institutions should be judged has become the dominant tradition within
Good Publicity: The Legitimacy of Public Communication of Deliberation
Although deliberative democratic theory values the principle of publicity, few empirical studies systematically assess the public communication of civic groups that deliberate over policy. The
Occupy Wall Street and Deliberative Decision‐Making: Translating Theory to Practice
This essay examines how the Occupy Wall Street movement employed the idea of deliberation to achieve a participatory, consensus-based democracy. As a participant observer, I illustrate that the way
Critical Theories of Deliberative Democracy and the Problem of Citizenship
Deliberative democracy offers a promising extension of, and alternative to, liberal and republican theories and practices. For many advocates, the procedures of deliberative democracy provide a
Toward a Sociology of Deliberation
This essay draws insights from Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory for the development of a sociological theory of deliberation. Most work on deliberative practice is strongly shaped by the concerns of
Deliberative Democracy and Political Decision Making
Defined expansively as the exchange of politically relevant justifications, political deliberation occurs at many sites in the democratic system. It is also performed by several different types of
Just Talk: Public Deliberation After 9/11
Critics of public deliberation as conventionally practiced have charged that it is “just talk” in the sense both that it substitutes sociable conversation for practical deliberation and that it
Deliberation, Participation, and Democratic Legitimacy: Should Deliberative Mini-Publics Shape Public Policy?
In this article I defend the view that only a participatory conception of democracy is compatible with the criterion of democratic legitimacy that deliberative democrats endorse. I do so by analyzing


The Practice of Deliberative Democracy: A Study of 16 Deliberative Organizations
This article investigates 16 organizations that attempt to foster better public deliberation in local and national communities. It develops a typology of these organizations and discusses them in the
Deliberative Democracy in Practice: Challenges and Prospects for Civic Deliberation
We bring democratic theory and democratic practice together by examining practical efforts by several different organizations around the USA to make good on the promise of democratic deliberation
The Democratic Potential of Civic Dialogue
How can deliberative democracy work in contexts of cultural heterogeneity? Some say that one of the great values of deliberation is not just its ability to enhance the decision task at hand, but also
Citizens' Juries and Deliberative Democracy
In the face of widespread dissatisfaction with contemporary democratic practice, there has been a growing interest in theories of deliberative democracy. However theorists have often failed to
Increasing Political Sophistication Through Public Deliberation
Deliberative democratic theory posits that group deliberation aids the development of citizens' political sophistication. To test this general claim, the authors studied the association between
Deliberative Democracy’s Attempt to Turn Politics Into Law
The theory of deliberative democracy sketches a model of politics based on models of law and legal decision-making. It aspires to turn political decisions into a form of legal decision-making. It is
Understanding Deliberation
Participation in a deliberative forum has received relatively little scrutiny as opposed to more traditional forms of participation. This study examines direct and indirect effects of discussion
Race and Public Deliberation
Although deliberation has a central place in democratic theory, scholars know little about how it actually works. Most deliberative theorists emphasize the many good consequences of deliberation. By
Institutions of Deliberative Democratic Processes and Interest Groups: Roles, Tensions and Incentives
There are inherent tensions between traditional, more pluralist forms of public participation and new deliberative democratic processes, such as citizens’ juries. These innovative processes, known
Accountable Autonomy: Toward Empowered Deliberation in Chicago Schools and Policing
In 1988 and 1995, the Chicago Public Schools and Police Department implemented governance reforms that dramatically increase opportunities for citizen engagement in neighborhoods, devolve operational