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date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The authors essay summarize the implications of public deliberation scholarship for the study of political communication as it occurs in small social bodies, from dyadic conversations and small groups to structured deliberative bodies, such as Citizens’ Assemblies. They begin by illustrating the growth, impact, and importance of this relatively new area of study in political communication. The heart of the essay contains a review of the findings of key studies relevant to, influenced by, or designed to advance deliberative theories of group behavior. The third section emphasizes one particular subarea of importance in this body of work—the potential power of connecting small group deliberation with large-scale public judgment. In the final section, the authors identify some of the key unanswered questions about group deliberation.

Keywords: conversation, debate, deliberation, democracy, discussion, efficacy, group decision making, juries, public judgment, public meetings

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