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Most Highly Recommended Resources

These resources are recommended highly by NCDD for many reasons. Some are highly regarded by practitioners or scholars. Some have caused a buzz in the field. Some have proven themselves to be highly effective when put into practice. And some are just the best resources of their kind. As these distinctions are highly subjective, we are open to your feedback and ideas for other resources we should recommend.

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Deliberation Day Highly Recommended

Bruce Ackerman and James Fishkin. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, USA, 2004.

Two leading political thinkers offer an audacious proposal to energize the electoral process. Bruce Ackerman and James Fishkin argue that Americans can revitalize their democracy and break the cycle of cynical media manipulation that is crippling public life. They propose a new national holiday--Deliberation Day--for each presidential election year. On this day people throughout the country will meet in public spaces and engage in structured debates about issues that divide the candidates in the upcoming presidential election.

Resource Link: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=0300109644

Deliberation in the Balance: A Cautionary Note on the Promise of Deliberative Democracy Highly Recommended

Michael Briand. National Civic Review, Winter 2005, 2005.

Though the case for deliberation is compelling, in both theory and practice it faces substantial impediments. The success of the campaign to afford deliberation a larger role in public discussion of policy issues is by no means guaranteed. In this 7-page essay, Briand argues that the fate of deliberative democracy is hanging in the balance.

Resource Link: http://www.ncl.org/publications/ncr/94-4/Briand.pdf

Deliberative Democracy Consortium Highly Recommended

Founded in 2002, the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) is a network of practitioners and researchers, representing over 30 organizations and universities, working together to strengthen the field of deliberative democracy. The DDC seeks to support research activities and to advance practice at all levels of government, in North America and around the world. The DDC is a project of AmericaSpeaks.

Resource Link: http://www.deliberative-democracy.net

Deliberative Democracy eBulletin Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

This monthly eBulletin from the Deliberative Democracy Consortium features updates from the deliberative democracy community.

Resource Link: http://www.deliberative-democracy.net

Deliberative Democracy Meets Dispute Resolution (DVD): Reflections and Insights from the 2005 Workshop on Deliberative Democracy and Dispute Resolution Highly Recommended

Carri Hulet (producer), under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind. Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, 2006.

The Workshop on Deliberative Democracy and Dispute Resolution was a two-day conference held in June 2005 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The event brought together 30 individuals who share a common interest in civic engagement, but represent two distinct fields that approach the project very differently. One group included public dispute resolution professionals; the other, political theorists and innovative practitioners of deliberative democracy. This 2.5-hour DVD attempts to capture the most interesting moments of dialogue from this workshop in order to illustrate the overlaps and divisions of opinion both between and within the respective fields.

Resource Link: http://www.pon.org/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=394

Deliberative Dialogue to Expand Civic Engagement: What Kind of Talk Does Democracy Need? Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Martha McCoy and Pat Scully, Study Circles Resource Center. National Civic Review, vol. 91, no. 2, pp. 117-135, 2002.

Martha McCoy and Pat Scully of the Study Circles Resource Center wrote this excellent article that distinguishes deliberation from dialogue and discusses the merits of “the marriage of deliberation and dialogue.” Although the article focuses on the Study Circles process, it is a great introduction to public engagement processes and their principles. This is a very readable 19-page article that we highly recommend you take the time to read.

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

Deliberative Polling Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Deliberative Polling® is an attempt to use television and public opinion research in a new and constructive way. A random, representative sample is first polled on the issues. After this baseline poll, members of the sample are invited to gather at a single place to discuss the issues. Carefully balanced briefing materials are sent to the participants and are also made publicly available.

Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform Highly Recommended

James S. Fishkin, Center for Deliberative Democracy. Yale University Press, 1997.

Fishkin makes an important proposal to reform the U.S. presidential nomination process. He supports the proposal with a concise, intelligent discussion of democratic theory, emphasizing the importance of genuine deliberation versus transient, media-generated public opinion. The book centers on the idea of a National Issues Convention - a televised caucus in which a representative sample of voters meet face-to-face with presidential contenders in order to reflect and vote on the issues and the candidates.

Resource Link: http://cdd.stanford.edu/

Democracy Campaign and Democracy in America Conferences Highly Recommended

Republican politician turned "transpartisan" pioneer Joseph McCormick founded the Democracy in America Project (DIAP) in 2003 with community builder Pat Spino. In their quest to find or create "We the People"--a unified whole that includes, respects, and values all American points of view--Joseph and Pat decided to work toward a three-day national civic dialogue event called a We the People National Convention.

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

Democracy in Small Groups: Participation, Decision Making and Communication Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

John Gastil. New Society Publishers, 1993.

Drawing from years of research and experience, John Gastil offers a variety of solutions to the problems commonly faced by small, democratic groups. He thoroughly explores the dynamics of practicing democracy, including the relationship between speaking rights and listening responsibilities; the important of full access to information and agenda setting: and ways to practice democracy in personal, family and neighborhood life.

Resource Link: http://faculty.washington.edu/jgastil/

Democracy Theory and Practice: An Online Refworks Database Highly Recommended

Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy.

ICDD collects references to theoretical and applied literature on democracy from many disciplines, countries, and perspectives. We classify the documentation in ways that we hope will expose its many interpretations and manifestations. Currently we are conducting research on trends in scholarly publishing on democracy from 1980 to 2006, and in the process we are developing a novel means of highlighting components of the research that are of particular interest to different users. For example, those who facilitate dialogue for citizen deliberations or those who are interested in democracy's relationship to pluralism, race relations, or identity. A Refworks database has been established for sharing these references with anyone interested in the study and practice of democracy.

Resource Link: http://www.k-state.edu/icdd/Resources/Resources.htm

Democracy's Edge: Choosing to Save Our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Frances Moore Lappé. Jossey-Bass, 2006.

In Democracy's Edge, Lappé challenges citizens to nourish democracy itself by rejecting the "thin democracy" of private interests and concentrated power in favor of "living democracy" fueled by engaged communities pursuing social justice in the public interest. Lappé emphasizes the power of motivated individuals to effect meaningful change, and provides strategies for getting out of the house and taking control of one's latent political power. Readers ready to get their feet wet will also find the appended material useful, particularly the regionally organized directory of advocacy groups.

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

Democratic Dialogue: A Handbook for Practitioners Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Bettye Pruitt and Philip Thomas. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2007.

This 242-page handbook is a joint effort of CIDA, International IDEA, OAS and UNDP, receiving valuable input from a wider network of organizations (including NCDD). This handbook is the result of a joint initiative to provide decision-makers and practitioners with a practical guide on how to design, facilitate and implement dialogue processes. It combines conceptual and practical knowledge, while providing an overview of relevant tools and experiences. NCDD highly recommends this handbook.

Resource Link: http://www.democraticdialoguenetwork.org/documents/view.pl?s=13;ss=;t=;f_id=789

Democratic Dilemmas: Joint Work, Education Politics, and Community Highly Recommended

Julie A. Marsh. SUNY Press (SUNY series, School Districts: Research, Policy, and Reform), 2007.

This 228-page book written by policy researcher Julie Marsh explores ways to engage citizens in the process of educational improvement. The book highlights the inherent tensions of deliberative democracy, competing notions of representation, limitations of current conceptions of educational accountability, and the foundational importance of trust to democracy and education reform. It further provides a framework for improving community-educator collaboration and lessons for policy and practice.

Resource Link: http://www.sunypress.edu/details.asp?id=61456

Designing for Results: Integrating Monitoring and Evaluation in Conflict Transformation Programs Highly Recommended

Cheyanne Church and Mark Rogers. Search for Common Ground, in partnership with the United States Institute for Peace and the Alliance for Peacebuilding, 2006.

This manual is the first of its kind to focus on the particular needs of the conflict transformation field. It addresses the many challenges faced by conflict transformation practitioners in their attempts to measure and increase the effectiveness of their work. Includes practical tips and examples from around the world.

Resource Link: http://www.sfcg.org/programmes/ilr/ilt_manualpage.html

Diagnosing Situations and Making Distinctions: Deciding What Dialogue, Deliberation or Collaborative Action Process Is Most Appropriate Highly Recommended

Jan Elliott, Barnett Pearce and Harold Saunders. Fielding Graduate University, 2005.

There are many different approaches and technologies available for engagement. While there are some commonalities in these approaches, there are differences and they serve different purposes, again depending on the context. And there are new approaches and variations on existing approaches developing each year. Some have described what is happening in this field as a new social movement. In this environment of experimentation and exploration, how do we decide what approach is best suited for our purposes and the context? This short document explores this question from the perspective of different approaches and practitioners.

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

Dialogos - Dialogue Introduction: AoTT Highly Recommended

Dialogue Introduction: AoTT (The Art of Thinking Together) is a two and a half-day, integrated introduction to multiple levels of dialogue, group structures and individual effectiveness. As a participant, you will learn new communication, action, and awareness skills, and see what dialogue feels like through actual practice. You will walk away with new ways of seeing familiar group patterns and structures, as well as new tools for understanding and impacting the larger systems in which you work and live.

Resource Link: http://www.dialogos-inc.com

Dialogos - Leadership for Collective Intelligence (LCI) Highly Recommended

Leadership for Collective Intelligence (LCI) is an intensive 10-month learning and professional development experience. It draws on, and has been built by, pioneers in organizational learning, dialogue, family system therapy, systems thinking and the improvisational arts. The dominant focus of the LCI is the art and practice of dialogue, which we see as a means of enabling deep change within individuals, groups, and larger collective settings such as organizations, communities and, ultimately, society itself.

Resource Link: http://www.dialogos-inc.com

Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

William N. Isaacs, Dialogos. New York, NY: Currency, 1999.

Isaacs is a colleague of organizational learning guru Peter Senge (who wrote the introduction) and one of the founders of MIT's Organizational Learning Center. He also directed MIT's Dialogue Project, on which this book is based. Isaacs argues that organizational learning cannot take place without successful dialogue.

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

Dialogue at Washington High Highly Recommended

Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group, San Mateo, California, 2007.

This 43-minute DVD shows a Jew and a Palestinian modeling how to connect with the "other" beginning with personal Story. Tenth grade high school students then engage each other in dyads with a new quality of listening, and the diverse youth speak about their new way of communicating. Len and Libby Traubman are distributing DVDs of their films “Dialogue at Washington High” and “PEACEMAKERS: Palestinians & Jews Together at Camp” at no charge to whoever will use them.

Resource Link: http://traubman.igc.org/vidschool.htm

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