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Deliberative Toolkit

About the Deliberative Toolkit

Lots of people instinctively know how to debate or argue—but in ways that perpetuate conflict and misunderstanding. What does it mean to deliberate effectively and responsibly? We define healthy democratic deliberation as thinking, speaking, and listening together—despite our differences—to find the best possible solutions for common problems in democratic society. 

Healthy deliberation is an art as much as a science. It requires practice and knowledge of the best way to use certain tools. Those tools include constructive uses of language, substantive standards of evidence, and ethical rules of argument. 

The Deliberative Toolkit Project seeks to move past discussions of tribalism or partisanship to focus on practical guidelines for successful and inclusive deliberation. It's a collaborative project, a collectively assembled toolkit. It provides practical, research-based advice for how to deliberate effectively and responsibly while also encouraging diverse ideas about the nature of deliberation itself.

Contribute to the Deliberative Toolkit

We plan to create simple graphics about democratic deliberation that are easy to understand and easy to share on social media and other channels. Submissions from students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome.

Submit your entry

Toolkit Entries

Created by: Jacob Iwinski
Class of 2021, Schreyer Honors Scholar and Paterno Fellow

Further Reading: 
W. Lance Bennett, News: The Politics of Illusion
10th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.