Deliberative Technology: A Holistic Lens for Interpreting Resources and Dynamics in Deliberation

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Vol: 13, Issue: 1

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Sandfort, Jodi; Quick, Kathryn
Deliberative technology; Deliberative methods; Designing deliberative processes; Resources for deliberation; Co-production; Ethnographic research; Deliberation design and implementation methods; Interpersonal and Small Group Communication; Public Administration; Public Affairs; Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration; Public Policy; Urban Studies and Planning
article description
We introduce the concept of deliberative technology as an integrative framework to encapsulate how facilitators and participants bring different resources into use in deliberative processes. It serves as a holistic lens to observe, explain, and intervene constructively in the unpredictable, emergent dynamics of deliberative processes. We developed the concept of deliberative technology inductively through ethnographic analysis of three deliberative processes. In the three cases, the deliberative processes and their results were quite different, despite common resources, policy contexts, and purposes. We articulate a typology of general types of potential resources for deliberation – methodological techniques, material objects, and conceptual frameworks – and show how they interact with the policy context and the dynamics of the facilitators and participants to produce the deliberative technologies of the three cases.