ERIC Number: ED418289
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Seeking Common Ground: Deliberative Democracy and Sustainable Communities.
Hyman, Drew; Clinehens, Brad
Public deliberation, sometimes called deliberative democracy, offers alternatives to what are often adversarial governmental debates and hearings. This paper provides a case example of applying the deliberative democracy process to development issues and an analysis of data comparing the effectiveness of the process for creating a consensus for change. The case study was conducted in Centre County, Pennsylvania, which is a rural county consisting of 36 municipalities. Two local issues forums (LIF) that followed the practice of the National Issues Forums (NIF) were conducted in Centre County. The first LIF, Growth and the Quality of Life in Centre County, considered four visions of the county's future. The second LIF, held 19 months later, focused on the main issue emerging from the first forum: how to achieve a sustainable community of communities in the county. Pre- and post-forum questionnaires were distributed to all forum participants. The Centre County experience demonstrated that public deliberation based on the NIF model can provide a basis for moving communities toward consensus on issues of development, growth, and quality of life. A comparison of the pre- and post-forum questionnaires revealed definite directions of attitude change and considerable degrees of attitude change for a majority of participants. (Contains 19 tables.) (MN)
Descriptors: Action Research, Adult Education, Attitude Change, Case Studies, Citizen Participation, Community Development, Community Education, County Programs, Democracy, Participative Decision Making, Policy Formation, Public Policy, Questionnaires, Regional Planning, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Sustainable Development, Tables (Data)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Local Issues Forums; National Issues Forums; Pennsylvania (Centre County)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the Community Development Society (29th, Athens, GA, July 1997).