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Theory and Scholarship

Here are the 248 resources from Theory and Scholarship. Too many choices? Narrow your results

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"I'm Calling My Lawyer": How Litigation, Due Process and Other Regulatory Requirements Are Affecting Public Education

Jean Johnson and Ann Duffett. Prepared for Common Good, 2005.

In this pilot study, many teachers and school administrators reported that the possibility of being sued or accused of abuse is ever present in their minds. Avoiding suits and fulfilling due process requirements is a time-consuming part of a principal or superintendent's job and many feel the requirements give unreasonable people a chance to get their way. Yet many educators say protecting children from abuse is a higher priority than reducing the threat of litigation.

Resource Link: http://www.publicagenda.org/research/research_reports.cfm

'Think Globally, Act Locally'? Climate Change and Public Participation in Manchester and Frankfurt

D. Shelton. American Journal of International Law, 88 (4), 1994.

'Think Globally, Act Locally' was one of the most famous slogans of the 1970s environmental movement. Discourses about global climate change are now a vivid illustration of this "global thinking." Although there is a substantial amount of research about global environmental issues and policy initiatives, there is still a gap in understanding of how lay publics actually comprehend global climate change. Using qualitative research method, this study is a comparison of how lay publics in Frankfurt (Germany) and Manchester (UK) perceive these issues and the possible solutions.

Resource Link: http://www.asil.org

A Brief Critique of Deliberative Democracy: Why It's Undesirable and How to Limit It

Marcus Alexander.

The author's purpose is to outline a basic critique of deliberative democracy in response to Jon Elster's article "The Market and the Forum: Three Varieties of Political Theory," and Joshua Cohen's article "Deliberation and Democratic Legitimacy." The author's main argument is that deliberative democracy fails to overcome (or supplement) the shortcomings of the Schumpeterian minimalist conception of democracy for two important reasons: (1) its demand for reason and, therefore, its demand for both individual and collective rationality; and (2) its assumption of existence of a common good and the possibility of technical solutions and progress.

Resource Link: http://www.utopic.nl/05links/02_Alexander_critique.pdf

A Guide to Participatory Budgeting

Brian Wampler.

Participatory Budgeting (PB) programs are innovative policymaking processes. Citizens are directly involved in making policy decisions. Forums are held throughout the year so that citizens have the opportunity to allocate resources, prioritize broad social policies, and monitor public spending. These programs are designed incorporate citizens into the policymaking process, spur administrative reform, and distribute public resources to low-income neighborhoods. Download the 32-page guide directly from the NCDD website.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/Wampler_PBGuide.pdf

A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society

An interdisciplinary journal of research and commentary concentrating on the intersection of law, policy, and information technology, the first issue featured a symposium on electronic rule-making, book reviews and an article on HIV/AIDS, Information and Communication in Africa. The journal is jointly produced by Carnegie Mellon's InSITeS and the Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies at The Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law.

Resource Link: http://www.is-journal.org

A Seat at the Table: Membership in Federal Advisory Committees Evaluating Public Policy in Genetics

Caterine F. Ard and Marvin R. Natowicz. American Journal of Public Health, 91 (5), 787, 2001.

This study examined who participates in federal government advisory committees regarding public policy in human and medical genetics, what parties they represent, and to what extent the general public is meaningfully represented.

Resource Link: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1446679&blobtype;=pdf

A Selected Study of the Benefits of Dialogue in Small Groups and Implications for Symbolic Dialogue in Larger Groups

John I. Spady, Forum Foundation.

The purpose of this study is to examine the benefits of the use of dialogue as a strategy for the successful functioning of small groups. Using the methodology of grounded theory, literature published between the years 1990 and 2000 are examined and interpreted. Conclusions list the benefits of dialogue attributed to small groups and relate ways to scale them to larger groups using the technique of symbolic dialogue as defined by Spady and Bell (1998).

Resource Link: http://homepage.mac.com/jspady/.Public/Benefits%20of%20Dialogue.pdf

A Summary of Citizen Participation Methods for the Waterfront Development Project in Oconto, Wisconsin Highly Recommended

Kevin Silveira, Ron Shaffer and Chris Behr, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension.

The City of Oconto and the National Coastal Resources Institute sought to evaluate and integrate information on the economic and environmental impacts of waterfront development. A significant dimension of that effort was to go beyond the technical dimension of those decisions, and address the equally important local perceptions and concerns regarding the waterfront. This review of various techniques for gathering citizen input and encouraging involvement was originally prepared as background to the project team to help them involve Oconto residents in the decisions regarding the waterfront. The authors recommend that you use the document as a starting, not ending, point for building a citizen involvement strategy.

Resource Link: http://www.aae.wisc.edu/cced/931.pdf

A View From the City: Local Government Perspectives on Neighborhood-based Governance in Community-Building Initiatives

Robert Chaskin and Ali Abunimah. Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, 1997.

A study of efforts by private foundations and others to spur the use neighborhood-based governance structures to support communities' overall development suggests they have met with general acceptance by local governments. However, some limitations remain in the eyes of public officials.

Resource Link: http://www.chapinhall.org/article_abstract.aspx?ar=1289&L2=63&L3=108

Accord: An International Review of Peace Initiatives

Conciliation Resources.

This full-text online journal provides detailed narrative and rigorous analysis on specific war and peace processes, combining readability with practical relevance. Accord acts as a primer for international readers unfamiliar with specific wars and peace processes as well as a reference tool containing comprehensive texts of peace agreements.

Resource Link: http://www.c-r.org/our-work/accord/index.php

Accountable Autonomy: Participatory Deliberation in Urban Governance

Archon Fung.

The author examines the Chicago reforms to derive lessons about the institutional designs, politics, and public policies that can establish the direct and deliberative channels of participation for ordinary citizens in the governance of complex common issues. As a rich source to expand theory and practice, the organization of educational and police governance in Chicago differs from that of other cities, and indeed from conventional accounts of participatory democracy.

Resource Link: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/urban/docs/AccountAutonomy.pdf

Active Democracy

Lyn Carson's website provides easy access to information which individuals, groups or organisations can use to enhance citizens' involvement in the activities of local, state or federal government. Carson is a senior lecturer in applied politics with Government and International Relations in the School of Economics and Political Science, at the University of Sydney Australia.

Resource Link: http://www.activedemocracy.net

Adapting systemic consultation practice to public discourse: An analysis of a public conflict episode

Shawn Spano and Claire Calcagno. Human Systems, 7: 17-43, 1996.

Shawn Spano, Ph.D., is a Senior Consultant with the Public Dialogue Consortium, a non-profit group of practitioners devoted to improving the quality of public communication in local communities. In addition to his work with the PDC, Shawn is a Professor in the Communication Studies Department at San Jose State University where he teaches courses and conducts research in public dialogue, interpersonal communication and communication education.

Addressing Language-Related Challenges in the Practice of Dialogue and Deliberation Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Sandy Heierbacher (Director of NCDD). Unpublished manuscript, 2006.

The true power of dialogue and deliberation lies in their ability to surface new insights and innovative solutions when all voices are brought to the table. But while diversity is an asset to these programs, it brings with it a unique set of challenges. This paper addresses four broad challenges related to language and culture that dialogue and deliberation practitioners regularly face. These are: (1) the challenge of getting culturally diverse participants in the door; (2) the logistics involved in having multiple languages spoken in the room; (3) creating a safe space for those with other language/speech needs or differences; and (4) dealing with participants’ existing preconceptions, assumptions and stereotypes related to language/cultural differences.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/Heierbacher_language_paper.doc

Administrative Structure and Social Democratic Results: The Case of Education

Kevin B. Smith.

At the center of the contemporary education reform debate is an argument that organizational structure makes a difference to school outcomes. This in turn centers on a basic premise of the public choice literature -- that public and private goods and services are in some fashion analogous, and public sector performance can be improved by adopting at least some of the institutional arrangements and processes of the market (Tiebout 1956). This case study of education with respect to administrative structure examines the goals and challenges to differentially structured education systems.

Resource Link: http://sansfoy.hti.umich.edu/pdf/0472113178-ch11.pdf

African Journal on Conflict Resolution

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD).

In launching a new academic journal focusing on conflict transformation in Africa in 1999, ACCORD fulfilled a long-held ambition to contribute to the intellectual development of thinking, writing and dialogue in the field of conflict management on the continent of Africa.

Resource Link: http://www.accord.org.za/ajcr/intro.htm

Against Deliberation

Lynn M. Sanders. Political Theory, 25, 347-364., 1997.

Deliberation, which has become a democratic standard in American political settings, has also an undemocratic appeal. Foremost among the undemocratic charges against deliberation is that its proponents cannot guarantee equality of opportunity to those who want to participate in it. Furthermore, critics of deliberation argue that the problem of ordinary citizens committing excesses when they participate in deliberative processes must be addressed. The advantages and disadvantages of deliberation are evaluated and an alternative model for democratic politics is proposed.

Resource Link: http://faculty.virginia.edu/lsanders/SB617_01.pdf

An Evaluation of the Ford Foundation's Neighborhood and Family Initiative

Robert Chaskin, Selma Chipenda-Dansokho, Mark Joseph, and Carla Richards. Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, 2001.

This evaluation of the Ford Foundation's Neighborhood and Family Initiative reviews its activities since 1996 and distills lessons learned about comprehensive approaches to community building, including lessons about the role of collaboration, resident participation, funding, outcomes, and evaluation.

Resource Link: http://www.chapinhall.org/article_abstract.aspx?ar=1295&L2=63&L3=108

An Online Environment for Democratic Deliberation: Motivations, Principles, and Design Recently Updated

Todd Davies, Brendan O'Connor, Alex Angiolillo Cochran, Jonathan J. Effrat.

This paper elucidates the experience and thinking behind our new web-based environment for asynchronous group deliberation: Deme (pronounced 'deem'). Deme grew out of participation in and observations of group decision making and community democracy, and is being developed within a university-community partnership to enhance civic participation and to bridge digital divides.

Resource Link: http://www.stanford.edu/~davies/deme-principles.pdf

An Overview of Multi-Stakeholder Civic Scenario Work

Generon Consulting, 2001.

The purpose of a civic scenario project is to build the leadership to change the course of a country’s history. A group of influential leaders - a microcosm of the society, representing all the principal stakeholders - works together to uncover what has happened, is happening, might happen, and should happen in their country, and what they must do to enact that vision. Through a structured process of action and reflection, with each other and with other societal leaders, they build the shared understanding and commitment necessary to bring forth a better future. This 6-page paper synthesizes Generon Consulting's learnings from their experiences leading civic scenario projects in numerous countries, and outlines a state-of-the-art civic project.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/civic_scenario.pdf

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