HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government


This book brings together two fields that rarely converse with one another: deliberative democracy and development studies. The study of deliberation— which explores normative and practical questions around group-based decision making via discussion or debate, particularly as analternate or supplement to voting or bargaining—has emerged as a critical part of the debate on democracy over the last two decades. Concurrently, the field of development has seen a spurt of interest in community-led development and participation premised on the ability of groups to arrive at decisions and manage resources via a process of discussion and debate. Despite the growing interest in both fields, they have rarely engaged with one another.Studying the intersection between deliberation and development can provide valuable insights into how to incorporate participation into development across a variety of arenas. Moving beyond broad theoreticalclaims, close examination of specific cases of deliberation and development allows scholars and practitioners to evaluate actual processes and to pose the question of how deliberation can work in the twin conditions of extreme inequality and low educational levels that characterize thedeveloping world.


Fung, Archon, Hollie Russon Gilman, and Jennifer Shkabatur. "Technology for Democracy in Development: Lessons from Seven Case Studies." Deliberation and Development : Rethinking the Role of Voice and Collective Action in Unequal Societies. Ed. Patrick Heller and Vijayendra Rao. World Bank Group, 2015, 229-236.