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Deliberative Abilities and Influence in a Transnational Deliberative Poll (EuroPolis)

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Gerber Marlène, Bächtiger André, Shikano Susumu, Reber Simon, Rohr Samuel,
Project Deliberative Reforms in the Political System
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal British Journal of Political Science
Volume (Issue) 48(4)
Page(s) 1093 - 1118
Title of proceedings British Journal of Political Science
DOI 10.1017/s0007123416000144


This article investigates the deliberative abilities of ordinary citizens in the context of ‘EuroPolis’, a transnational deliberative poll. Drawing upon a philosophically grounded instrument, an updated version of the Discourse Quality Index (DQI), it explores how capable European citizens are of meeting deliberative ideals; whether socio-economic, cultural and psychological biases affect the ability to deliberate; and whether opinion change results from the exchange of arguments. On the positive side, EuroPolis shows that the ideal deliberator scoring high on all deliberative standards does actually exist, and that participants change their opinions more often when rational justification is used in the discussions. On the negative side, deliberative abilities are unequally distributed: in particular, working-class members are less likely to contribute to a high standard of deliberation.