Deliberative Conversations: Bottom-up Approaches to Fostering Rhetorical Citizenship

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Polarization and ensuing civic estrangement arguably make up a main problem in contemporary political debate, yet Dryzek et al. have found that people are interested in deliberating if some guidance is provided. The article posits rhetorical citizenship as a framework within which to consider public deliberation as a relevant aspect of ordinary people’s lives as both participants in and observers of cross-cutting conversations (Mutz, Ivie). Three examples are provided: "Conversation Salons", a private initiative to induce people to discuss matters of common concern, the Danish debate format “The Free Space” where professional politicians are coached to engage opponents in respectful exchange in front of an audience, by “debate pilots” trained to serve in this function, and the "Deutschland Spricht" project where citizens are paired with political opponents for private conversations about political issues.
TidsskriftJournal of Public Deliberation
StatusAfsendt - 2019

ID: 230198190