1. K-State home
  2. »ICDD
  3. »About
  4. »Deliberation

Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy


Differing from dialogue, deliberation is a more specific type of public discourse. Specifically, “deliberation is a process in which a diverse group of people moves toward making a collective decision on a difficult public issue. Most well-known as part of the jury system in the United States, deliberation involves weighing tradeoffs and tensions, recognizing competing values and interests, and coming to what has been termed “public judgment” (Yankelovich & Friedman, 2010). Public deliberation, according to David Mathews (2014) of the Kettering Foundation, is used in situations “when there are competing imperatives about what is worth most to us and our collective well-being” (p. 75).[1]

[1] Nicholas V. Longo and Timothy J. Shaffer, "Discussing Democracy: Learning to Talk Together," in Creating Space for Democracy: A Primer on Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education, ed. Nicholas V. Longo and Timothy J. Shaffer (Sterling, VA: Stylus, 2019), 22