Randomly constituting representative deliberative assemblies: Dewey and Fishkin on the microcosm concept
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In several of John Dewey's works on education, including Democracy and Education and The School and Society, he models the ideal school after the ideal community, conceiving the former as a microcosm of the latter. More recently, James Fishkin in Democracy and Deliberation and The Voice of the People renders a deliberative poll design with an eye to making its randomly selected deliberators representative of much larger groups, and in this way microcosms of the population-at-large. Thus, the smaller group deliberates as if it were the much larger population assembled together to deliberate in mass-scale citizen assemblies. Although random selection is not widely accepted as a legitimate method for selecting political representatives (as, for instance, it was among the ancient Athenians), it has many desirable features, the most important of which is its ability to constitute bodies that resemble, and in this sense, represent larger populations. This last notion that smaller deliberative bodies can perform as if they are the larger populations represented-which I call the 'microcosm concept'-is not distinctly American, though many commentators trace it back to the musings of John Adams and some of the Anti-Federalists. In this paper, I argue that insights derived from Dewey's model of an educational microcosm can be appropriated and employed as resources to defend Fishkin's model of a deliberative microcosm against contemporary critics, such as Robert Goodin and Cass Sunstein. Besides defending Fishkin's deliberative poll design against its critics, I also argue that a Dewey-Fishkin partnership can help to improve actual deliberative institutions. I show how the Dewey-Fishkin microcosm concept operates in an actual deliberative event: the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform, whereby a group of randomly-selected citizens were assembled and charged to deliver recommendations on whether to change the existing electoral system in the Canadian province of Ontario.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Cynthia Farrar, James S. Fishkin, Donald P. Green, Christian List, Robert C. Luskin & Elizabeth Levy Paluck, Disaggregating Deliberation's Effects: An Experiment Within a Deliberative Poll.
James S. Fishkin (2011). Why Deliberative Polling? Reply to Gleason. Critical Review 23 (3):393-403.
Jason Kosnoski (2005). Artful Discussion: John Dewey's Classroom as a Model of Deliberative Association. Political Theory 33 (5):654 - 677.
Robert E. Goodin (2008). Innovating Democracy: Democratic Theory and Practice After the Deliberative Turn. OUP Oxford.
Laurel S. Gleason (2011). Revisiting “the Voice of the People”: An Evaluation of the Claims and Consequences of Deliberative Polling. Critical Review 23 (3):371-392.
James Fishkin (2005). Defending Deliberation: A Comment on Ian Shapiro's The State of Democratic Theory. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (1):71-78.
Shane J. Ralston, Democratic Governance and the Specter of Deliberative Consultancy: A Deweyan Assessment of the Deliberation Industry.
Ian Shapiro (2005). The State of Democratic Theory: A Reply to James Fishkin. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (1):79-83.
Added to index2009-02-10
Total downloads9 ( #163,400 of 1,099,910 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #189,854 of 1,099,910 )
How can I increase my downloads?