GC1Y 1000 Public Deliberation Course
Public Deliberation is a first-year, critical thinking course that explores forms of public deliberation in America and addresses the fundamental question, “How do ordinary citizens become engaged in public discourse and self-governance around critical local, regional, and national issues?” Over the past twenty years, efforts to educate and create civic agency among American citizens through study circles, citizen juries, deliberative polling and electronic town meetings and forums have generated a significant amount of literature in the deliberative democracy field. The course focuses on “deliberative democracy” and uses National Issues Forum materials. The course examines the tension between professional and policy elites that form think tanks, lobbying groups, and coalitions and the role of common citizens who seek to be heard in the public square.
Students participate in deliberative forums in and beyond the classroom in campus and community settings. The course is affiliated with the American Democracy Project Public Voice Partnership.