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Negotiating Deliberative Ideals in Theory and Practice: A Case Study in Hybrid Design
Journal of Public Deliberation (2016)
  • Ann Mongoven
  • Danielle L Lake
  • Jodyn Platt
  • Sharon Kardia
Much literature on deliberation is derived from ideal theory. However, deliberations are inevitably nonideal
in two ways: (1) many deliberative ideals are in tension with each other; and 2) intended balancing
of ideals cannot be attained perfectly amidst the messiness of real-world recruitment and conversation.
This essay explores both kinds of non-ideality in respect to a case study: the 2011 community
deliberative processes on a state public health “biobank,” the Michigan BioTrust for Health. We follow
two recommendations from major contemporary theorists of deliberation: to be transparent about how
competing deliberative goals are negotiated in deliberative design; and to publicize case studies that
report associated struggles and results. We present our “hybrid design” that sought to negotiate tensions
within three families of deliberative goals: goals of representation and inclusion; goals of discourse framing;
and goals of political impact. We offer deliberative facilitators tentative suggestions based on
this case study, concluding deliberations need not be “ideal” to be transformative.
  • deliberation,
  • biobanking,
  • research ethics,
  • informed consent,
  • democracy and science,
  • Michigan BioTrust
Publication Date
Spring 2016
Publisher Statement
This Article is brought to you for free and open access by Public Deliberation. It has been accepted for inclusion in Journal of Public Deliberation by an authorized administrator of Public Deliberation.
Citation Information
Ann Mongoven, Danielle L Lake, Jodyn Platt and Sharon Kardia. "Negotiating Deliberative Ideals in Theory and Practice: A Case Study in Hybrid Design" Journal of Public Deliberation Vol. 12 Iss. 1 (2016) p. 1 - 36
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