The Deliberative Democracy Consortium

Thursday
Mar 23rd
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Home Workshops Frontiers of Democracy Frontiers of Democracy: Theory and Practice

Frontiers of Democracy: Theory and Practice

Conference Track 3

What role is there for innovative theory in civic practice? For example: how might Elinor Ostrom's Nobel-prize-winning research on "common pool resources" help citizens, public officials, and other leaders share the work of sustaining deliberative democracy?

NOTE: There are two sets of items here. First there are issues that relate theory to practice. Then, there are theoretical questions to be addressed.

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What are principles of institutional design for collective action and civic renewal?

What are principles of institutional design for collective action and civic renewal?

How can we reclaim thinking colonized by the market?

The realm of ideas has been colonized by market thinking—how can we reclaim it?

How do we build civic agency to foster a civic renewal movement?

How do we build civic agency to foster a civic renewal movement?

Is there a theory to take good practices to scale?

Can we develop a theory to take good practices to scale (such as the Ostrom model)?

What are principles of "civic artisanship"?

What are principles of “civic artisanship”?

How to move from self-interest to community?

How to move from self-interest to community? (How to use technology for that purpose? How can we maintain neutrality?)

Limits to theory

Limits to theory include unpredictability and the fact that contexts are very different.

Exploitation between theorists and practitioners

The relationship between theorists and practitioners is sometimes exploitative (going in both directions).

Theory emerges in teaching and learning

Theory often emerges in teaching and learning.

Practitioners turn to theory to improve on existing models

Sometimes practitioners use existing models to tackle problem and then turn to theory to improve practice

Theory offers values rather than strategies

Sometimes practitioners look to theory for strategies when what it offers are values.