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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Deliberation plays an important role in a number of political institutions and is also an increasingly common way that citizens participate in politics. This chapter divides political psychology research on small-group deliberation into three clusters of variables: the context in which deliberation takes place, the process by which deliberation proceeds, and the outcomes that deliberation produces. The existing literature shows that deliberation can have meaningful effects on important outcome variables like policy attitudes, citizen knowledge, and subsequent political engagement. However, research on how the context and process of deliberation produce these outcomes is still in its infancy. This chapter argues that as the political psychology literature on deliberation matures, it must pay more attention to process and context questions, in large part because the normative value of deliberation depends less on what the outcomes of deliberation are than on how those outcomes are produced.

Keywords: deliberation, deliberative democracy, group processes, political participation, democratic theory

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