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Abstract

In failed or failing states, deliberation as it is operationalized in much of the political communication literature is inapplicable. These states lack advanced communication infrastructures, press systems and public spheres, which require high literacy rates, education, the rule of law and other elements of an enabling regulatory environment. Rather than imagining deliberation as a series of exchanges over focused issues, a scaled down standard of deliberation is appropriate. Such a model could simply involve enhanced communication and information sharing among the citizenry, spreading political norms that aid some level of quasi-governance or simply improving the quality of life in challenging circumstances. Even in both starkly repressive countries and states where governments barely exist, some new communication technologies are increasingly available and they facilitate deliberative exchange. At the same time, foreign international broadcasters are complementing their traditional broadcasting with the development and promotion of deliberation technologies. This paper suggests international broadcasting agencies can find new purpose by utilizing emerging ICTs for the purpose of deliberative development in failed and failing states where public deliberation is under-developed.

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