Citizens Jury Background

Intellectual Background to the Citizens Jury Process

  1. An Analysis of Construct Validity 1965  Comments  This work, done for my M.A. in political science, is posted for because it was an important step in my intellectual development and because it shows that I have a solid background in empirical measurement.
    1. It was an important step in my intellectual development. Paul Meehl, one of the most prominent psychologists of the 20th century, liked it.  It was he who helped me believe I could think critically.  He taught me to use the best objective measurement tools possible, but when good tools were not available or too costly, to then use careful observation or even intuition.
    2. It shows that I have a solid background in empirical measurement, even though the epistemology on which the Citizens Jury was built was more in line with the epistemology of the later Wittgenstein than logical empiricism.
  2. How Should We Live Together 1996. Comments  This presents the philosophical underpinnings of the Citizens Jury process.  It covers three topics and contains a long appendix:
    1. There is a brief overview of the epistemology on which the Citizens Jury process is based.
    2. There is a section on moral philosophy discussing why the search for intellectual foundations for moral norms is unlikely to be productive.
    3. The key question for humankind to answer is not the one posed by Socrates: “How should I live?”. Instead, it is: “How should we live together?”
    4. There is a long appendix taken from my Ph.D. thesis, Concern for All. This presents a detailed discussion to back up the claim that we should not be searching for intellectual foundations for moral norms.  It one sense, it is dated, since it was written before the work of Foucault and the deconstructionists.  But it presents a whole different path for dealing with our inability to find intellectual foundations for moral norms.  Instead of accepting moral relativism and joining philosophers in endless intellectual discussions about what we cannot know, it proposes that we work with humankind to help them answer, with an authentic voice, how we should live together.
  3. Extended Rational Discussions 1973 Comments  This was Appendix B of my Ph.D thesis.  By 1975, we rename these “Extended Policy Discussions”.  The Jefferson Center conducted three projects along these lines: in 1975 on U.S. government-held grain reserves, in 1977 on serious juvenile offenders, and in 2011 on the relationship between the single-payer approach and the affordable care act.
  4. In Search of the Competent Citizen 1975 Comments This paper discusses research that might be done to ascertain what kinds of political decisions an everyday (average) American was capable of making. It discusses the kind of sophisticated research that might be done in order to learn how well citizens could perform in novel settings such as Citizens Juries.  It also shows my naivité in believing that such research might actually be funded.
  5. Citizens Panels A New Approach to Citizen Participation Public Administration Review, vol. 46, #2, March/April 1986.   It was this paper that caught the eye of Prof. John Stewart, Professor of Local Government, University of Birmingham, U.K.  About 10 years later, I learned that he had spent several years urging the Institute for Public Policy Research in London to examine the work done by Professor Dienel and me.  This led to a booklet published by IPPR in 1994, authored by Stewart, Anna Coote and Elizabeth Kendall.  Because of the promotion of the process by IPPR, within a decade roughly 300 “Citizens Juries”, of widely varying quality, had been conducted in Britain.
  6. Creating Authentic Voice of the People A paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, April 18-20, 1996
  7. Articles in Books:
    1. Gastil, J. and Levine, P. (eds.). “The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century”
    2. Renn, O., Webler, Th., Wiedemann, P. (eds.). “Fairness and Competence in Citizen Participation: Evaluating New Models for Environmental Discourse.”
    3. Sexton, K., Marcus, A., Easter, K.W., Burkhardt, T. “Better Environmental Decisions: Strategies for Governments, Businesses, and Communities”
  8. Citizens Panels A New Democratic Process for Risk Management A paper presented at the 1987 National Conference of the American Society for Public Administration.
  9. Citizens Jury Process In Britain: An Initial Examination of Citizens Jury Use in Britain,1994-2012 By Lydia Carlson and Ned Crosby,  April, 2013.
  10. Essays: Starting in 1965, I wrote essays as a way of reflecting on what I was learning in graduate school and what to write for my Ph.D. thesis.  These are the foundation of all my work from 1965 to present.  Just a few essays are listed here as examples.  None of the early essays (handwritten until the middle-80s) will be posted in this website unless there is considerable interest in them.
    • #429 – #435 These were the essays in 1971 where I invented the Citizens Jury.  They are somewhat of a mess, covering things from the creation of a real social contract (as opposed to the hypothetical social contract advocated by John Rawls) to a book, My Daddy was a Numbers Runner, which helped me to think through why I should adopt the “RRCL decision process”, my original name for the Citizens Jury.
    • Essays #544 – #580 (September ’74 to January ’76) I invented a number of new democratic systems in the 1970s.  These essays lead up to the creation of “System 4”, the new democratic system in which Citizens Juries were empowered to legislate.  I gave up on this rather quickly.  System 9, the heart of the unpublished book Towards a New Democracy, was the one I liked best.
    • Essay #968 (7-18-85) – #2229 (4-16-09) A few years ago, I created a folder on my computer about agenda setting, one of the most complex and difficult aspects of the Citizens Jury process.  It deals with the problems of setting a fair agenda and how to bring in witnesses from a variety of points of view that are “balanced”.  The folder contains 80 essays, along with a number of other things I wrote that were not saved as essays.  This is an example of the unfinished (or sloppy) nature of my work.  I never finished reviewing these to write something definitive on agenda setting.  It is unclear to me whether it would be worth anyone’s time to explore these.  But some of my best thinking on agenda setting was done in the 1980s when the Jefferson Center ran some of its largest projects.
    • Essay #1810 (7-12-99) This is about the invention of the Citizens Initiative Review.
    • Essay #3000 (5-2-15) On Understanding
    • Essay #3028 (8-31-15) Experimenting with New Democracies
  11. Research Relevant to Deliberative Practice  2005 This short unpublished article could be read as a follow-up to “In Search of the Competent Citizen”.  It cites the labels created by Bertrand Russell and Alfred Whitehead: the “simple-minded” and the “muddle-headed”.  I admit that I lean in the muddle-headed direction, but believe that much research on deliberative practice leans much too far in the simple-minded direction.  My hope is that research can be well-enough funded so that it is possible to examine closely the concepts beloved by the muddle-headed, while doing research that meets up to the exacting criteria favored by psychologists such as Paul Meehl.
  12. “Creating the Citizens Initiative Review” Comments This posting includes Chapter 4 and Appendix A Sec 1-5 from my 2003 book, Healthy Democracy.  The reader may be interested to see how the idea developed from the initial Essay #1810 above, which is little more than a sketch, along with some thoughts about feasibility.  Some of the root of the CIR go back into the 1990’s and the whole concept was largely developed by 2003.