Conclusion - “Better Informed and Increasingly Demanding”: The Potential of Deliberation to Tap the Power of Citizens to Address Climate Change
Tom Prugh & Matt Leighninger
The concluding chapter reiterates the key themes and observations of the book and points towards future possibilities of the role of deliberation in addressing climate change and sustainability in Alberta and the world. Going beyond environmental issues alone, Prugh and Leighninger emphasize the possibilities of deliberative civic engagement in overcoming some of the inherent deficits of representative democracy.
- Deliberative civic engagement is an approach to community self-governance for ordinary people. It works best when it involves a wide and representative range of citizens, is firmly connected to policies, frames issues fairly and clearly, and takes the time to build trust and respect among participants.
- Deliberative civic engagement is expanding and maturing at a crucial time, i.e., when the convergence of large trends—climate change, the approaching decline of the fossil fuel era, and the prospect of the faltering or even the end of economic growth—presents severe and difficult challenges that demand collective action and buy-in.
- Simultaneously, partly in response to the disappointing progress toward action at the national and international levels, local communities and governments are becoming increasingly activist around sustainability issues, including climate change. Deliberative civic engagement is a potent means of enabling those communities to harness citizen input and commitment toward building more sustainable societies.
- Deliberative civic engagement has demonstrated an ability to bridge social, cultural, and political divides. It is coming of age at a time when populist passions are shaking governing elites and upending traditional political orders, and is thus available to channel those passions into constructive engagement and political renewal.
- “Let’s Get Digital! 50 Tools for Online Public Engagement” - Caitlyn Horose, 2014.
- Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics - Josh Lerner 2014.
- “Brazil Let Its Citizens Make Decisions About City Budgets - Here’s What Happened.”
- Brian Wampler & Michael Touchton, Washington Post, January 22, 2014.
- Public Participation for 21st Century Democracy - Matt Leighninger & Tina Nabatchi 2015.
- “Transforming Governance: How Can Technology Help Reshape Democracy?” Making All Voices Count research briefing - Matt Leighninger 2016.
- Democracy in Motion: Evaluating the Practice and Impact of Deliberative Public Engagement, Tina Nabatchi, John Gastil, Matt Leighninger & Michael Weiksner 2012.