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Virtual Book Club

Hope for Democracy: How Citizens Can Bring Reason Back Into Politics

By John Gastil and Katherine R. Knobloch 

Discussion with the authors
Monday, August 31, 4:00 p.m. ET

Purchase the book on Bookshop to support your local bookstore!
Access the book online through Penn State University Libraries

Hope for Democracy recognizes the primary problems that plague contemporary democracy and offers a solution. It tells the story of one civic innovation, the Citizens' Initiative Review (CIR), which asks a small group of citizens to analyze a ballot measure and then provide recommendations on that measure for the public to use when voting.

It relies on narratives of the civic reformers who developed and implemented the CIR and the citizens who participated in the initial review. Coupled with extensive research, the book uses these stories to describe how the review came into being and what impacts it has on participants and the public. 

Gastil is Distinguished Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and Political Science and Senior Scholar in the McCourtney Institute. Knobloch is Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies Department at Colorado State University and Associate Director of the university's Center for Public Deliberation.

Like any book club, reading the entire book is not required to attend. If you prefer to watch or listen to content about the book and its main themes check out this interview with the authors from our Democracy Works podcast:


Please complete this form to RSVP. Registrants will receive a Zoom link prior to the event.