Political scientist; Public policy scholar; Educator
Developed a method of public consultation that he calls, deliberative polling. The process gathers random samples of citizens to spend time together learning about and then discussing important issues of public policy in order to shed light on how opinions change as people become more informed. His research program studies and applies "deliberative public opinion" in practical contexts around the world. With collaborators, conducted such deliberative polls in the United States, Britain, Australia, Denmark, Bulgaria, China,Brazil, Greece, China, Japan and elsewhere. Books include Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform (1991), The Dialogue of Justice (1992), The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy (1995), and When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation (2009). With Bruce Ackerman, coauthor of Deliberation Day (2004). Past Guggenheim Fellow, visiting fellow commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge, fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.