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Studying ‘Everyday Political Talk’ in the Deliberative System

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‘Everyday political talk’ is an increasingly important part of what Jane Mansbridge characterizes as ‘deliberative systems’ in industrialized democracies. However, how is it practiced by ordinary people? And how does their practice affect democracy and citizenship? Our paper addresses four questions: (1) How should everyday political talk be conceptualized as a component of the ‘deliberative system’? (2) What can and cannot be learned by studying normative topics like deliberation empirically? (3) How can we investigate such everyday talk using the methodologies of survey research, focus groups and content analysis? (4) What have we learned in our own research programs from each methodological approach?Acta Politica (2005) 40, 269–283. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ap.5500113

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: aDepartment of Political Science, University of North Carolina, Campus Box 3265, 363 Hamilton Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3265, USA., Email:

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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