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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

One key idea in the history of deliberative theory is that citizens must listen to one another, though the fullest accounts of listening come from the broader field of democratic theory. Bickford’s (1996) theory is enlightening, but more compatible with agonistic democracy. Dobson’s (2014) exhortations to take listening seriously are important, even if he distances himself from deliberation. In practice, scholars of mini-publics have examined the importance of moderators, structures, and dispositions, including empathy, for outcomes related to listening. Studies using the Deliberative Quality Index reveal factors that improve listening in legislatures. Research examining reciprocity utilize measures that could help us better understanding deliberative listening. Work by Hendriks and Sercan (2017) has even directly examined listening in deliberation. Notwithstanding these developments, we must continue refining the conceptualization and operationalization of listening if we are to understand this aspect of a successful deliberative democracy.

Keywords: listening, deliberation, moderators, Deliberative Quality Index, empathy, reciprocity

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