Democratic politics involves a series of multi-directional conversations. Effective conversations have the potential to engage, educate, and animate both citizens and governmental officials. On the individual level, discovering successful conversational strategies benefits both political and social interaction. This book offers guidelines for conducting effective conversations personally, politically, and beyond such that readers of this book are unlikely to ever again look at conversation in the same way. New technologies and social trends both challenge and potentially enhance traditional face-to-face and media dominated conversations. Understanding the state, quality and potential of political conversations provides a unique perspective for evaluating and potentially improving government "by the people."
"For over three decades C-SPAN has attempted to improve America’s political conversation. Steve Frantzich takes the idea of multi-level conversations as the key defining element of democratic politics. In the process, he shows how the principles of good conversations are used and abused in contemporary political conversation."
--Brian Lamb, Founder of C-SPAN
"Frantzich has written an engaging book about one of the foundations of healthy democracy: talking with one another about politics and pursuing constructive, deliberative public dialogue. Frantzich has crafted an accessible book that draws on secondary studies to develop a conversation with readers…This pragmatic how-to book fits in nicely with other books that address the erosion of basic democracy and link this erosion to declining social capital, hyperindividualism, and the shrinkage of community activity…Recommended.”
--CHOICE August 2011 Vol 48 No. 11
Chapter 1 Politics and Democracy as Conversation Chapter 2 Say What? Characteristics of a Good Conversation Chapter 3 Conversational Strategies Chapter 4 The Value of Conversation In a Democracy Chapter 5 Rising above Shared Ignorance: The Informational Requirements of a Good Conversation Chapter 6 The Social Setting of Contemporary Conversation Chapter 7 The Language of Political Conversation Chapter 8 The New Technology of Conversation Chapter 9 Institutionalized Conversation Chapter 10 Beyond Talking