FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, February 25, 2005

Deliberative Democracy

The rise of blogs and Internet-based fundraising during the 2004 Presidential campaign may only be the beginning of a new approach to democracy that is potentially transforming. Called deliberative democracy, it emphasizes shared knowledge and collaborative decision-making above traditional top-down politics. Technology plays a role, to be sure, but the emphasis is on the personal connections, consensus decision making, and free exchange of resources.

Perhaps, in our current contentious political environment, deliberative democracy may offer some solutions. Exactly how we would reconcile deliberative democratic principles in representative forms of government -- in which elected officials deliberate (theoretically) on the behalf of their constituents -- remains to be seen. Are there areas in which deliberative democracy would work better than in others? How, for instance, would deliberative democracy respond to a national emergency or a military action, where deliberation could cause costly delays? The Co-Intelligence Institute and the website Innovations in Democracy has links to dozens of resources and deliberative democracy experiments.

Source: WorldChanging