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How Deliberation Makes Better Citizens: The Danish Deliberative Poll on the Euro


This article presents results from a Danish national Deliberative Poll on the single European currency. A representative sample of 364 Danish citizens assembled to deliberate on Denmark’s participation in the single currency. As a quasi-experiment, the Deliberative Poll is an example of deliberative democracy. Four research questions regarding these deliberative processes are analyzed: openness and access, the quality of deliberation, efficiency and effectiveness, and publicity and accountability. The participants’ responses reflect a deliberative process characterized by considerable changes in political opinions as the Poll proceeds, increase in level of knowledge and an improved ability to form reasoned opinions. A mutual understanding on the subject matter prevailed among the participants. At the same time, self-interest and domination also appeared during the deliberative process. The article emphasizes the need for further elaboration of the theory of deliberative democracy so that it better reflects these features of ‘real-life’ politics

Research Paper