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Author Biography

Jodi Sandfort is Professor and Kathryn Quick is Associate Professor in the Public and Nonprofit Management and Leadership area of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota.

Abstract

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.

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