Deliberative technology: A holistic lens for interpreting resources and dynamics in deliberation

Jodi R Sandfort, Kathy Quick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We introduce the concept of deliberative technology as an integrative framework to encapsulate how facilitators and participants bring different resources into use in deliberative processes. It serves as a holistic lens to observe, explain, and intervene constructively in the unpredictable, emergent dynamics of deliberative processes. We developed the concept of deliberative technology inductively through ethnographic analysis of three deliberative processes. In the three cases, the deliberative processes and their results were quite different, despite common resources, policy contexts, and purposes. We articulate a typology of general types of potential resources for deliberation - methodological techniques, material objects, and conceptual frameworks - and show how they interact with the policy context and the dynamics of the facilitators and participants to produce the deliberative technologies of the three cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Public Deliberation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Nicholas Stuber and benefited from the close editing assistance of Victoria Fiorentino.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Co-production
  • Deliberative methods
  • Deliberative technology
  • Designing deliberative processes
  • Ethnographic research
  • Resources for deliberation

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