Brian Shreck, ISTPP pre-doctoral research associate, presented a paper co-authored with ISTPP Director, Arnold Vedlitz, at the annual conference of the Western Political Science Association in Seattle, WA on April 18, 2014.
Their paper, “In Defense of Informal Discussion as Deliberative Democracy,” uses data from a national public water policy survey to find which factors have the greatest effect on civic engagement as well as public discourse. The authors’ findings indicate that public deliberation does not appear to be driven by socioeconomic factors as other researchers have contended. Instead, the authors find that problem definition and personal interests are the strongest predictors of civic engagement.
This paper is based on research funded by ISTPP, the office of the Vice President for Research, and a Texas Sea Grant award.