2013 CIR Research Workshop

2013 Citizens’ Initiative Review Research Retreat (August 5-8, Penn State University)

In the summer of 2013, the principal investigators of this research project convened nineteen faculty, graduate students, and practitioners to take stock of the data collected on the CIR in 2010-2012 and set the research agenda for the CIR events to be held in 2014. Funding from Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute and the McCourtney Institute for Democracy made it possible to bring these scholars together for four days of meetings, meals, and intensive data analysis. (Those curious are welcome to peek at the 2013 CIR Workshop Agenda.)

20130806_144631The photos of the event give a sense for the space in which we met–the Krause Innovation Studio at Penn State’s University Park campus. This facility let us work in small groups within a large room with separate projectors for each table, then shift seamlessly back into a large group with all the screens synchronized when one research team wanted to share results with the others. The studio also had a large lounge area where people could work in pairs or sit by themselves to read CIR transcripts or examine datasets.

The most important product from the meeting was a refinement of a research proposal to the National Science Foundation, which was revised and submitted later that same month, then funded in early 2014. The Decision, Risk, and Management Sciences division funded this collaborative proposal for over $300,000. (Read the proposal abstract online). The workshop gave the proposal focus and helped target the most pressing research questions for further study.

20130808_091711The bulk of the working sessions at the workshop were reviewing ideas for research papers and developing new approaches, which either used existing data or identified new data to collect in 2014. To get a sense of the range of research projects–or project ideas–spawned/refined during this workshop, a partial list of the 32 papers is listed here, along with their current status. Many of these are already being presented or developed for publication, and they will appear in coming years in our publications section.

  • Cultivating Sophisticated Voters: How CIR Information affects Voter Knowledge
    (incorporated into a 2014 conference presentation and 2015 report)
  • Who Trusts the CIR? How Ideology and Agreement Constrain Trust in Mini-Publics
    (incorporated into an article – see Minipublics)
  • Guiding the Electorate: A In-Depth Study of How Oregonians Use the Official Voter’s Guide
    (presented at a conference in 2015; revising for submission)
  • Three Approaches to measuring democratic deliberation in public meetings: Observer codings, participant self-assessments, and holistic expert judgment
    (presented at a conference in 2014)
  • 20130806_144514Procedure Trumps Gender: The Impact of Professional Facilitation (or the Lack Thereof) Influences on Gender Dynamics in Deliberative Group Participation
    (data from 2014 being combined with earlier data for this analysis)
  • The Effects of Majority and Minority Status on Citizens’ Experiences in Mini-public Deliberation
    (presented at a conference in 2014, at a workshop in 2015)
  • Between the Talkative and the Silent II: Participation Rates Across Time, Persons, and Groups in Week-Long Deliberations
    (data from 2014 being combined with earlier data for this analysis)
  • Ready…Break! How informal talk during breaks can help or hinder the deliberative process
    (presented at a conference in 2014; transcript analysis continues on new data)
  • Understanding the Role of Emotion in Deliberation
    (presented at a conference in 2014; submitting for peer-review journal in 2015)
  • 20130806_144552Facilitating Democratic Deliberation During Periods of Procedural Difficulty
  • Deliberating Expertise: Citizen Assessments of Expert Ethos During the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review (presented at a conference in 2013 and in development for peer-reviewed journal)
  • Textualizing Deliberation: Arrangement and Representation of Rhetoric in the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review
    (a variation on this paper idea is in development)
  • Contextual Factors Shaping Panelists’ Self Conscious Enactment of their Strategic Role in the Oregon Citizens Initiative Review
    (adapted for a chapter in press)
  • The Oregon Citizens’ Initiative and the Larger Deliberative System
    (incorporated into a book manuscript on the CIR, which is in development)
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