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Author Biography

Rousiley C. M. Maia is a Professor of Political Communication and Media Studies in the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science (Nottingham University, UK) and is coordinator of the Research Group on Media and the Public Sphere - EME/UFMG. She is the author of Deliberation across Deeply Divided Societies (with J. Steiner, M. C. Jaramillo, and S. Mameli, Cambridge University Press, 2017), Recognition and the Media (2014, Palgrave McMillan), Deliberation, the Media and Political Talk (2012, Hampton Press). Some of her recent publications have appeared in European Political Science Review, Political Studies, Journal of Computer-mediated Communication, Journal of Communication, Representation, Journal of Political Power, Journal of Public Deliberation, and in several Brazilian Journals.

Marcela Dantas is an associate researcher in the Research Group on Media and the Public Sphere (EME/UFMG) and has a master degree from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Pedro S. Mundim is Assistant Professor of Political Science at The Federal University of Goiás (UFG). He received his PhD in Political Science from Rio de Janeiro Graduate Research Institute in 2010. Between 2014 and 2015 was Special Advisor to the Cabinet and Director of the Advisory Office for Public Opinion at The Secretariat for Social Communication, Presidency of the Republic, Brazil. In 2009, was Visiting Researcher at Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University (USA).

Abstract

The notion of a “deliberative system” has become central to debates on deliberation. The plea to regard deliberative processes from a system-wide perspective is genuinely innovative and attractive, but little has been done to understand how deliberation in one arena or a separate institution relates to other arenas. This study investigates the role that experts play in public communication in two arenas that have distinct systemic functions. It compares how experts express and justify their opinions on a controversial public policy in legislative public hearings and when they are quoted in the news media. Our findings, based on an empirical case study, revealed that experts played a similar role in different contexts in micro- and macro arenas; and most debate participants appealed to technical knowledge to compel a particular decision. Our analysis concludes by reflecting upon the interconnectivities of the aforementioned arenas; and the systemic approach implications on empirical research.

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