Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Journal Article

Is Deliberation an Antidote to Extreme Partisan Polarization? Reflections on “America in One Room”


This paper is positioned at the intersection of two literatures: partisan polarization and deliberative democracy. It analyzes results from a national field experiment in which more than 500 registered voters were brought together from around the country to deliberate in depth over a long weekend on five major issues facing the country. A pre–post control group was also asked the same questions. The deliberators showed large, depolarizing changes in their policy attitudes and large decreases in affective polarization. The paper develops the rationale for hypotheses explaining these decreases and contrasts them with a literature that would have expected the opposite. The paper briefly concludes with a discussion of how elements of this “antidote” can be scaled.

James Fishkin
Alice Siu
Larry Diamond
Norman Bradburn
Journal Name
American Political Science Review
Publication Date
July 27, 2021
Cambridge University Press on behalf of the American Political Science Association