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Abstract

In 2001, the National Science Foundation provided $2.1 million in funding for the Virtual Agora Project, a three-year exploration of the effects of online and face-to-face democratic deliberation. The project seeks to shed light on deliberation's effects on individuals, the community, and decision quality as well as how best to use technology to achieve positive outcomes. Of special concern to the project is determining whether deliberation builds better citizens. This paper describes the research design of this project to stimulate future research on deliberation.

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