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Deliberation, single-peakedness, and the possibility of meaningful democracy: evidence from deliberative polls

List, Christian, Luskin, Robert C., Fishkin, James S. and McLean, Iain (2006) Deliberation, single-peakedness, and the possibility of meaningful democracy: evidence from deliberative polls. PSPE working papers, 01-2006. Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Majority cycling and related social choice paradoxes are often thought to threaten the meaningfulness of democracy. But deliberation can prevent majority cycles – not by inducing unanimity, which is unrealistic, but by bringing preferences closer to single-peakedness. We present the first empirical test of this hypothesis, using data from Deliberative Polls. Comparing preferences before and after deliberation, we find increases in proximity to single-peakedness. The increases are greater for lower versus higher salience issues and for individuals who seem to have deliberated more versus less effectively. They are not merely a byproduct of increased substantive agreement (which in fact does not generally increase). Our results both refine and support the idea that deliberation, by increasing proximity to single-peakedness, provides an escape from the problem of majority cycling.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/government/PSPE/WorkingPaper...
Additional Information: © 2006 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Research centres and groups > Political Science and Political Economy Group
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 01-2006
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2008 08:59
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20069/

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