Groups and deliberation

Christopher F. Karpowitz, Tali Mendelberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We present a group-based approach to the study of deliberation. Deliberation occurs in groups, yet many studies of deliberation do not take the group as a unit of analysis. We argue that group composition and the attendant social dynamics to which they give rise are an important aspect of deliberation. We offer several examples of ways to study these effects, including the interaction of gender composition and the group's decision rule in the context of an experimental study of decisions about justice, the effect of racial composition in simulated juries, and the effect of ideological composition in local meetings. We examine the consequences of these factors on a variety of outcomes, including individuals'private opinion, individuals' behaviour and group decisions. In conclusion we discuss the implications that group effects have for empirical and normative theories of deliberation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-662
Number of pages18
JournalSwiss Political Science Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations


  • Deliberation
  • Gender
  • Group
  • Group composition
  • Ideology
  • Juries
  • Justice
  • Local meetings
  • Race


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