Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Courses on Deliberative Democracy

Main content start

Voices of Shaping Our Future

Imagine a world where forming policy was less about cutting through red tape, and more about listening to people for building a better tomorrow. Two of the most widely discussed social issues facing our society today center around our CLIMATE and ECONOMIC INEQUALITY. While many people are divided on these issues, and there are a variety of ideas involving how they should be handled, we were curious to know what the younger generation thought about these topics.

In May 2021, more than 600 young people from across the country were brought together online to discuss their insights on these issues in small groups, listen to panel experts answer their questions, and interact with each other regardless of whether or not they agreed on the topics being discussed. In this podcast, we speak with some of those participants and get their thoughts on the conversations they had during the 2021 “Shaping Our Future” event.



CDD and Close Up: Learn Deliberative Democracy

CDD and Close Up: Learn Deliberative Democracy.
This course is for high school students. Apply today.

Dates: June 20 – July 1, 2022

Location: Washington, D.C.

Summer Institute for Deliberative Democracy: Meet and deliberate with other passionate young people from across the country! Join us in June in Washington, D.C., to develop a deep understanding of pressing national issues, create a cohesive agenda for action, learn how to effectively advocate for proposals in front of public officials, and leave ready to make change and facilitate dialogue in your own community. Students who participate in the full two-week program will be certified by Close Up and Stanford’s CDD as Student Ambassadors of Deliberative Dialogue

James Fishkin

The Dialogue of Democracy: COMM 137W (AMSTUD 137, COMM 237, POLISCI 232T, POLISCI 332T)

All forms of democracy require some kind of communication so people can be aware of issues and make decisions. This course looks at competing visions of what democracy should be and different notions of the role of dialogue in a democracy. Is it just campaigning or does it include deliberation? Small scale discussions or sound bites on television? Or social media? What is the role of technology in changing our democratic practices, to mobilize, to persuade, to solve public problems? This course will include readings from political theory about democratic ideals - from the American founders to J.S. Mill and the Progressives to Joseph Schumpeter and modern writers skeptical of the public will. It will also include contemporary examinations of the media and the internet to see how those practices are changing and how the ideals can or cannot be realized.

Join our deliberations

We have ongoing deliberative events at high schools and colleges around the world. If you, your class, or your school would like to take part in deliberations with us, please reach out to us using the interest forms below. If you would like to learn more about our deliberations in schools, please visit this webpage.
High school interest form
College (post-secondary) interest form