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Don't Give Up on Democracy


Published June 8, 2021

In 2019, Americans from across to country gathered in Texas to discover whether people from a variety of backgrounds could have civil discussions about important and controversial policy issues. When assembled in small groups and provided with unbiased briefing papers, participants did not divide themselves among party lines. This experiment in deliberative democracy shows that Americans have not given up on democracy and that restoring faith in our system will require an intentional effort to engage with people who hold opposing viewpoints.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How can politically diverse people have civil discussions about policy issues?
  2. How can you apply the lessons from the Center for Deliberative Democracy experiment to your own life?

Additional Resources:

  • Read “America in One Room,” by Larry Diamond. Available here.
  • Read “This Experiment Has Some Great News for Our Democracy,’” by Larry Diamond and James Fishkin, via the New York Times. Available here.
  • Read “How to Save Democracy,” by Larry Diamond. Available here.