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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

Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution Highly Recommended

Bernard Mayer. Jossey-Bass, 2004.

In this thought-provoking, passionately written book, Mayer - an internationally acclaimed leader in the field - dares practitioners to ask the hard questions about alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Whatís wrong with conflict resolution? Why arenít more individuals and organizations using conflict resolution when they have a problem? Why doesnít the public know more about it? What are the limits of conflict resolution? When does conflict resolution work and when does it not? Offering a committed practitionerís critique of the profession of mediation, arbitration, and ADR, Beyond Neutrality focuses on the current crisis in the field of conflict resolution and offers a pragmatic response.

Resource Link: http://www.josseybass.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0787968064.html

Brisbane Declaration on Community Engagement Highly Recommended

The Brisbane Declaration drew on numerous definitions and aspirations for community engagement, including IAP2's core values and the Queensland Government's community engagement resources. A draft of the Declaration was reviewed and revised to reflect the feedback from the community of practitioners, academics, policy advisers, government and citizens who responded to a questionnaire. Importantly, there were also a number of deliberative sessions on the Declaration held during the 2005 International Conference on Engaging Communities. Feedback from these sessions was incorporated into the final version of the Declaration.

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

Change.org Recently Updated Highly Recommended

Launched in February 2007, Change.org is a community platform that creates a social network for over 1 million nonprofit organizations. Each organization has free access to an online dashboard through which they can review activity on their network and directly engage with their supporters by posting fundraising projects, events, photos, videos, news stories and blog entries. Change.org enables nonprofit organizations to harness the power of social networking technology to build community around their organization and extend their reach and social impact.

Resource Link: http://change.org

D&D; Success Stories Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Compiled by the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), 2005.

Below are dozens of links to dialogue and deliberation success stories and case studies that are available online. Approaches covered include Deliberative Polling, Citizens Juries, Future Search, National Issues Forums, Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue, AmericaSpeaks, Study Circles, the Public Conversations Project, and Wisdom Councils. NCDD has been compiling these resources for the D&D; community for several years, but we could really use your help keeping this page updated. Email us at [email protected] with your additions and changes.

Dialogue & Deliberation Quotes new

National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD).

Need great quotes for a publication, article or report you're writing? This NCDD resource lists dozens of quotes organized by topic: dialogue; deliberation; listening; communication; truth, knowledge & exploration; conflict and transforming conflict; inclusion; democracy; action & change; and a miscellaneous category for other great quotes that are relevant to this work.

Resource Link: http://thataway.org/index.php/?page_id=550

Free Conference

Offers free reservationless and web-scheduled conference calls for businesses, organizations and individuals. Each participant calls a long distance number and is charged by their phone company accordingly, but the host does not pay any per-participant fee. This service is used widely by nonprofit organizations.

Resource Link: http://www.freeconference.com

Grassroots Fundraising Journal and the Online Consultant Directory

Do you need help creating a fundraising plan? Organizing an individual donor campaign? Improving the fundraising skills of your staff and board? Producing an event that will reach a new audience of potential donors? The Grassroots Fundraising Journal's Online Consultant Directory provides names and contact information of consultants who can help you do just that. You can also download Kim Klein's article "Hiring a Fundraising Consultant" for free.

Resource Link: http://www.grassrootsfundraising.org/howto/consultants_directory.html

How To Make Money as a Mediator (And Create Value for Everyone): 30 Top Mediators Share Secrets to Building a Successful Practice

Jeffrey Krivis and Naomi Lucks. Jossey-Bass, 2006.

This is an invaluable and inspirational resource filled with practical, proven, and down-to-earth information on how you can develop a satisfying and lucrative career as a mediator, no matter what your area of interest - labor and employment mediation, intellectual property, environment, personal injury, family and divorce, contract, securities, or international peacekeeping. Until someone writes "How to Make a Living in Dialogue & Deliberation," this is the book to turn to for tips and ideas.

Resource Link: http://www.josseybass.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0787982040.html

Implicit Association Test

It is well known that people don't always speak their minds, and it is suspected that people don't always know their minds. Understanding such divergences is important to scientific psychology. This website presents a method that demonstrates public-private and conscious-unconscious divergences much more convincingly than has been possible with previous methods. The University of Washington and Yale University's age, race, and gender Implicit Association Tests can be taken online at this site.

Resource Link: http://www.yale.edu/implicit

Institute for Global Communications (IGC)

The nonprofit IGC offers activists in the areas of peace, environmentalism, feminism, and anti-racism a place on the internet to learn, meet, and organize.

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

Issue Framing: Issue Books and Implications for Community Action Highly Recommended

Chris Kelley. Kettering Foundation, 2002.

The Kettering Foundation long ago identified a disconnect between the public and politics. People in communities all over the country felt estranged from their elected representatives, from their public institutions, and most importantly, from each other. A significant portion of this disconnect focused on how issues in communities got named and framed. Kettering surmised, correctly, that if a public issue was named in such a way that the public could not identify with it, then the public would have a difficult time supporting it. However, if the public could identify a public problem together (naming) and then discuss choices on how to solve the particular problem (framing), then the likelihood of greater community action increased ten-fold.

Media and Public Relations Guide Highly Recommended

Let's Talk America, 2004.

Originally created for Let's Talk America conversation hosts, this 6-page document suggests a variety of methods for getting the word out through the media about your dialogue or deliberation program. The methods range from simple letters to the editor to a major media campaign.

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

Meetings as a Strategy for Change Highly Recommended

The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and BTW Consultants, 2004.

Meetings are a ubiquitous, time-consuming, and often expensive feature of organizational life. They range from ad hoc meetings of two or three people to multi-day events with hundreds of speakers and thousands participants. To maximize the value of meetings, grantmakers who fund them and organizations that sponsor them must be clear about their objectives and must think strategically about both the benefits and costs of the events. This packet includes three tools that provide a series of questions to be asked of meeting planners or foundation staff in considering whether a meeting is the best strategy for accomplishing the desired results.

Resource Link: http://http://www.hewlett.org/NR/rdonlyres/047CCF02-D038-4C0E-9121-FDD4074E6ACD/0/HFBTWmeetingspilot.pdf

Mind Tools

This site provides detailed instructions for discussion mapping tools aimed at understanding complex discussions and situations (such as Systems Diagrams, SWOT Analysis, Cash Flow Forecasting and Risk Analysis) and tools for effective decision making (such as Decision Trees, Thinking Hats and Cost/Benefit Analysis). The instructions for these tools are downloadable in PDF format.

Resource Link: http://www.mindtools.com

Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue Highly Recommended

Simon Fraser University, which is located in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), is the home of the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, an international conference centre providing 16,000 square feet of specialized meeting and function space which is devoted to facilitating public and private dialogue in order to foster understanding and engender positive action.

Resource Link: http://www.sfu.ca/dialogue

NCDD's Quick Reference Glossary Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

There are numerous streams of practice running parallel in the broader dialogue and deliberation community (deliberative democracy, intergroup dialogue, conflict transformation, etc.), and they have each developed their own terminology for what they do. We hope our glossary helps you make sense of it all!

Resource Link: http://thataway.org/index.php/?page_id=499

Nonprofit Quarterly E-Newsletter Recently Updated

The Nonprofit Quarterly.

The Nonprofit Quarterly is a unique print magazine that leaders count on to provide them with values based management information and proven practices. Each issue focuses on a theme of critical importance to nonprofit leaders and provides you with the cutting edge, relevant and useful information you need to manage more effectively and advance your mission. The free monthly e-newsletter features timely articles and resources on the important issues you care most about.

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

Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN)

NTEN is the membership organization of nonprofit professionals who put technology to use for their causes. We enable our members to do their jobs better and help their organizations strategically use technology so that they, in turn, make the world a better, just, and equitable place.

NPower

NPower is a growing network committed to sharing technology information, inspiration and ideas so they are available for the widest community benefit. NPower's tag line is 'putting technology know-how in the hands of nonprofits.' Their website is packed with articles, resources and tools that help meet the needs of communities through technology.

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

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