1st Edition

Creating Space for Democracy A Primer on Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education

Edited By Timothy J. Shaffer, Nicholas V. Longo Copyright 2019
    342 Pages
    by Routledge

    342 Pages
    by Routledge

    We live in divisive and polarizing times, often remaining in comfortable social bubbles and experiencing few genuine interactions with people who are different or with whom we disagree. Stepping out and turning to one another is difficult but necessary. For our democracy to thrive at a time when we face wicked problems that involve tough trade-offs it is vital that all citizens participate fully in the process. We need to learn to listen, think, and act with others to solve public problems. This collaborative task begins with creating space for democracy.

    This book provides a guide for doing so on campus through deliberation and dialogue. At the most basic level, this book describes collaborative and relational work to engage with others and co-create meaning. Specifically, dialogue and deliberation are processes in which a diverse group of people moves toward making a collective decision on a difficult public issue. This primer offers a blueprint for achieving the civic mission of higher education by incorporating dialogue and deliberation into learning at colleges and universities. It opens by providing a conceptual framework, with leading voices in the dialogue and deliberation field providing insights on issues pertinent to college campuses, from free speech and academic freedom to neutrality and the role of deliberation in civic engagement. Subsequent sections describe a diverse range of methods and approaches used by several organizations that pioneered and sustained deliberative practices; outline some of the many ways in which educators and institutions are using dialogue and deliberation in curricular, co-curricular, and community spaces, including venues such as student centers, academic libraries, and residence halls. All of the chapters, including a Resource Section, provide readers with a starting point for conceptualizing and implementing their own deliberation and dialogue initiatives.

    This book, intended for all educators who are concerned about democracy, imparts the power and impact of public talk, offers the insights and experiences of leading practitioners, and provides the grounding to adopt or adapt the models in their own settings to create educative spaces and experiences that are humanizing, authentic, and productive. It is an important resource for campus leaders, student affairs practitioners, librarians, and centers of institutional diversity, community engagement, teaching excellence and service-learning, as well as faculty, particularly those in the fields of communication studies, education, and political science.

    A Co-Publication with AAC&U and Campus Compact

    Introduction. Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education—Nicholas V. Longo and Timothy J. Shaffer 1. Discussing Democracy. Learning to Talk Together—Nicholas V. Longo and Timothy J. Shaffer Part One. Concepts and Theories 2. Readiness for Discussing Democracy in Supercharged Political Times—Nancy Thomas 3. Deliberative Civic Engagement. Toward a Public Politics in Higher Education—Derek W.M. Barker 4. Cultivating Dialogue and Deliberation Through Speech, Silence, and Synthesis—Sara A. Mehltretter Drury Part Two. Methods of Dialogue and Deliberation 5. Creating Cultures of Dialogue in Higher Education. Stories and Lessons from Essential Partners—John Sarrouf and Katie Hyten 6. Building Capacity in Communities. Everyday Democracy’s Dialogue to Change Approach—Martha L. McCoy and Sandy Heierbacher 7. Sustained Dialogue Campus Network—Elizabeth Wuerz, Rhonda Fitzgerald, Michaela Grenier, and Ottavia Lezzi 8. Educational Justice Using Intergroup Dialogue—Stephanie Hicks and Hamida Bhagirathy 9. The Free Southern Theater’s Story Circle Process—Lizzy Cooper Davis 10. The National Issues Forums. “Choicework” as an Indispensable Civic Skill—Jean Johnson and Keith Melville 11. What IF The Interactivity Foundation and Student-Facilitated Discussion Teams—Jeff Prudhomme and Shannon Wheatley Hartman Part Three. Dialogue and Deliberation in the Curriculum 12. The Student as Local Deliberative Catalyst. The CSU Center for Public Deliberation—Martín Carcasson 13. Dialogue as a Teaching Tool for Democratizing Higher Education. The Simon Fraser University Semester in Dialogue—Janet Moore and Mark L. Winston 14. Conversations that Matter—Spoma Jovanovic 15. Talking Democracy—David Hoffman and Romy Hübler Part Four. Dialogue and Deliberation Using Campus Spaces 16. Democracy Plaza at IUPUI—Amanda L. Bonilla and Lorrie A. Brown 17. Academic Libraries as Civic Agents—Nancy Kranich 18. Residence Halls as Sites of Democratic Practice—Laurel B. Kennedy Part Five. Dialogue and Deliberation in the Community 19. Providence College/Smith Hill Annex—Keith Morton and Leslie Hernandez 20. Lessons from the Front Porch. Fostering Strengthened Community Partnerships Through Dialogue—Suchitra V. Gururaj and Virginia A. Cumberbatch 21. Local Participation and Lived Experience. Dialogue and Deliberation Through Participatory Processes in Landscape Architecture—Katie Kingery-Page 22. "Give Light and the People will Find a Way:" Democratic Deliberation and Public Achievement at Colorado College—Anthony C. Siracusa and Nan Elpers Part Six. Dialogue and Deliberation Networks 23. New Hampshire Listens. Fulfilling the Land-Grant Mission While Strengthening Democratic Practice—Bruce L. Mallory, Michele Holt-Shannon, and Quixada Moore-Vissing 24. Start Talking, Stop Talking, and Toxic Talking. Resources for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education—Libby Roderick 25. Enacting Democracy In "Democracy’s Colleges"—Carrie B. Kisker, John J. Theis, and Alberto Olivas Conclusion. Sources of Democratic Professionalism in the University—Albert Dzur Resources Editors and Contributors Index


    Timothy J. Shaffer is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies and assistant director of the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy at Kansas State University. He is also principal research specialist with the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. In addition to Creating Space for Democracy, his publications include Deliberative Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning for Democratic Engagement (Michigan State University Press, 2017), Jumping in to Civic Life: Stories of Public Work from Extension Professionals (Kettering Foundation Press, 2018), and A Crisis of Civility?: Political Discourse and Its Discontents (Routledge, 2019). He has published dozens of articles and book chapters on civic engagement, civic studies, public deliberation, higher education, and democratic professionalism. He lives in Manhattan, Kansas, with his wife, Ellen, and his four children. Nicholas V. Longo is professor of Global Studies and Public and Community Service Studies at Providence College. Nick is author of Why Community Matters: Connecting Education with Civic Life (SUNY Press), co-editor of From Command to Community: A New Approach to Leadership Education in Colleges and Universities (Tufts University Press), and co-editor of Creating Space for Democracy: A Primer on Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education (Stylus, 2019). Nick lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife, Aleida. Together, they have a great passion for educating the next generation of democratic citizens, starting with their children, Maya and Noah.

    "If democracy is in trouble, higher education is in trouble, so it is encouraging to see the cast of scholars who are mounting a response. This book is a vital contribution to the emerging field of deliberative pedagogy… It is particularly encouraging to see new themes like the role of professionals in our democracy. Well done!"

    David Mathews

    Kettering Foundation

    “Reaffirming higher education’s civic mission, Creating Space for Democracy issues a compelling enjoinder for colleges and universities to play a leadership role in fostering participatory democracy. Positing college and university campuses as vital sites for democratic engagement, the authors in this volume offer tools for speaking across differences, while providing innovative models for revitalizing democracy through dialogue and deliberation, both within and beyond the gates of the academy.”

    Lynn Pasquerella, President


    "Creating Space for Democracy edited by Nick Longo and Tim Shaffer is well-timed and hopeful in a discouraging culture of bitter divisions, growing inequalities, and rising prejudices. This collection describes a path beyond the dysfunction, detailing diverse approaches with proven success in creating public relationships across differences. It also points toward a new stage of the higher education engagement movement, preparing 'democratic professionals' who further this work. If colleges, now under political siege, engage this difficult but transformative task, they can become catalysts for a democratic awakening and a rebirth of hope."

    Harry Boyte, Codirector Public Work Academy

    Augsburg University; Author, Awakening Democracy through Public Work: Pedagogies of Empowerment

    "This book does a masterful job of making the case for why high quality dialogue and deliberation are necessary in higher education if we want to ensure that students leave us well prepared to participate politically and civically. Through a diverse set of concrete examples and case studies, Creating Space for Democracy provides excellent guidance about how to create scaffolds, programs, and opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to engage in the kinds of dialogue and deliberation that are both sorely lacking and much needed. This book is a must read for if you are in higher education, care about dialogue and deliberation, and are yearning for new ideas."

    Diana Hess, Dean

    UW-Madison School of Education