Reports published on the CIR process

Gastil, J., Broghammer, M., Rountree, J., & Burkhalter, S. (2019). Assessment of Three 2018 Citizens’ Initiative Review Pilot Projects. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University. Assesses the pilot tests of the CIR held in California, Oregon, and Massachusetts in 2018.

Gastil, J., Reedy, J., Morrell, M. E., & Anderson, C. (2017). Assessment of the 2016 Arizona Citizens’ Initiative Review Pilot on Proposition 205. State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University. Assesses the pilot test of the CIR held in Arizona on a marijuana legalization ballot question in 2016.

Gastil, J., Johnson, G. F., Han, S., & Rountree, J. (2017). Assessment of the 2016 Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review. State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University. Looks at a CIR held in Oregon on a proposed tax increase, including new survey measures of voters’ willingness to share what they learn from the CIR with fellow voters. 

Gastil, J., Knobloch, K., Hannah, A., Maiorca, C., Paicopolos, E., & Watters, J. (2016). Assessment of the 2016 Massachusetts Citizens’ Initiative Review Pilot on Question 4. State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University. Assesses the effectiveness of the pilot CIR held in Massachusetts on a marijuana legalization ballot question in 2016, including results from three voter focus groups.

McFadden, Erica S. (2015). Arizona’s 2014 Pilot Citizens’ Initiative Review: Final Report. Report prepared for the Arizona State University Morrisson Institute and the Democracy Fund. Assesses the overall value of adopting the CIR process in Arizona based on the pilot study of a pension reform CIR held in Phoenix in 2014.

Gastil, J., Knobloch, K., & Richards, R. (2015). Empowering Voters through Better Information: Analysis of the Citizens’ Initiative Review, 2010-2014. Report prepared for The Democracy Fund. Assesses the quality of deliberation and electoral impact of all CIR panels from 2010-2014, including six statewide in Oregon and 2014 pilots in Phoenix, Colorado, and Jackson County, Oregon.

Knobloch, K. (2015). Assessing participant change two years later. Report prepared for the Kettering Foundation. Shows mixed evidence of long-term effects of deliberation on public trust and other attitudes and behaviors.

Knobloch, K., & Gastil, J. (2014). Evaluating the Quality and Effects of Deliberative Governance: A Case Study of the 2012 Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review. Report prepared for the Kettering Foundation. Assesses the quality of the 2012 CIR, presents panelist interview data, and looks at how it influences the wider public’s sense of political efficacy.

Knobloch, K., Gastil, J., Richards, R., & Feller, T. (2013). Official 2012 CIR Evaluation Report for the Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission. Assesses the quality of deliberation and electoral impact of the two CIR panels held in Oregon in 2012.

Gastil, J., & Knobloch, K. (2010). Official 2010 CIR Evaluation Report given to Oregon legislature on December 16, 2010. Assesses the quality of deliberation and electoral impact of the two CIR panels held in Oregon in 2010.

Gastil, J. (2010). Gastil – Oregon SOS – Survey Results on Voters Pamphlet. Memo to the Oregon Secretary of State. Summarizes survey data on Oregon voters’ use of the official pamphlet distributed to them by the Secretary of State.


Academic articles and chapters on the CIR process

Johnson, G. F., Morrell, M. E., & Black, L. W. (2019). Emotions and deliberation in the Citizens’ Initiative Review. Social Science Quarterly. Explores how emotions influence the substantive deliberation during a CIR, with emphasis on how the CIR’s procedures shape panelists’ emotional experiences and reactions.

Knobloch, K. R., Barthel, M., & Gastil, J. (2019). Emanating effects: The impact of the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review on voters’ political efficacy. Political Studies. Using two separate surveys (one longitudinal), this study shows that when voters learn that their state legislature has created the CIR, it boosts their confidence in government. Also, when voters take the time to read the CIR Statements, it boosts their sense of political self-confidence.

Lukianova, E., Tolochin, I., Johnson, G. F., & Knobloch, K. R. (2019). Varieties and effects of emotional content in public deliberation. Journal of Language and Politics. Argues that one can distinguish among helpful, manipulative, and disorienting uses of emotion during deliberation by studying a 2010 CIR.

Már, K., & Gastil, J. (2019). Tracing the boundaries of motivated reasoning: How deliberative minipublics can improve voter knowledge. Political Psychology. Shows how the CIR can cut through voters’ partisan biases to improve the accuracy of their policy knowledge.

Richards, R. (2018). Making policy information relevant to citizens: A model of deliberative mini-publics, applied to the Citizens’ Initiative ReviewPolicy & Politics, 46, 445-65. Explains why the CIR provides voters with the kind of information they need to make decisions on ballot measures.

Gastil, J., Knobloch, K., Reedy, J., Henkels, M., & Cramer, K. (2017). Assessing the Electoral Impact of the 2010 Oregon Citizens’ Initiative ReviewAmerican Politics Research. Shows the voter impact of the 2010 CIR on sentencing reform through a survey experiment and a cross-sectional phone survey.

Johnson, G. F., Black, L., & Knobloch, K. (2016). Citizens’ Initiative Review process: Mediating emotions, promoting productive deliberation. Policy and Politics Journal. Shows how CIR panelists balance emotion and reason during their deliberations.

Gastil, J., Knobloch, K., Kahan, D., & Braman, D. (2016). Deliberation across cultural cognitive divides: two tests of cultural biasing in public forum design and deliberation. Public Administration, 94, 970-987. Shows how public deliberation can encompass multiple cultural orientations and encourage participants to look beyond their biases to discover common ground–sometimes, but not always.

Gastil, J., Rosenzweig, E., Knobloch, K., & Brinker, D. (2016). Does the public want mini-publics? Voter responses to the citizens’ initiative review. Communication and the Public, 1(2), 174-192. Shows that voters found the CIR Statements to be a useful alternative source of information, although they wanted to know more about the CIR process. Also, reading the CIR Statement inspired some to vote on ballot measures they might have skipped.

Knobloch, K., Gastil, J., & Reitman, T. (2015). Connecting micro-deliberation to electoral decision making: Institutionalizing the Oregon CIR. In Anna Przybylska (Ed.), Deliberation: Values, processes, institutions. New York: Peter Lang. Examines the challenges of institutionalizing the CIR process as a formal part of the electoral process in Oregon.

Warren, M., & Gastil, J. (2015). Can deliberative minipublics address the cognitive challenges of democratic citizenship? Journal of Politics, 77 (2), 562–574. Argues that processes such as the CIR and the British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly could play a trustee role for citizens who seek reflective information and deliberative voting cues.

Kropczynski, J., Cai, G., & Carroll, J. M. (2015). Understanding the Roles of Artifacts in Democratic Deliberation from the Citizens’ Initiative Review. Journal Social Media for Organizations, 3(2), 1-22. Draws lessons from the CIR process for designing future online deliberation on larger scales.

Gastil, J. (2014). Beyond endorsements and partisan cues: Giving voters viable alternatives to unreliable cognitive shortcuts. The Good Society, 23, 145-159. Demonstrates how the CIR addresses problems in the initiative system by providing substantive and influential critiques of proposed legislation.

Knobloch, K., & Gastil, J. (2014). Experiencing a civic (re)socialization: The educative effects of deliberative participation. Politics. Shows that citizen panelists in the CIR, and the Australian Citizens’ Parliament, report experiencing profound shifts in their civic attitudes, which they attribute to participating in these public events.

Knobloch, K., Gastil, J., Richards, R., & Feller, T. (2014). Empowering citizen deliberation in direct democratic elections: A field study of the 2012 Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review. FACTS Reports, 8. Provides a concise academic evaluation of the 2012 Oregon CIR.

Gastil, J., Richards, R., & Knobloch, K. (2014). Vicarious deliberation: How the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review influenced deliberation in mass elections. International Journal of Communication, 8. Explains how the CIR influences the electorate by way of detailed and relevant one-page assessments of ballot initiatives.

Gastil, J., & Richards, R. (2013). Making direct democracy deliberative through random assemblies. Politics & Society, 41, 253-281. Theorizes the different ways that random-sample bodies of citizens, such as the CIR, can improve the initiative and referendum process.

Knobloch, K., Gastil, J., Reedy, J., & Walsh, K. C. (2013). Did they deliberate? Applying an evaluative model of democratic deliberation to the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 41, 105-125.


Masters theses and doctoral dissertations

Keown, L. B. (2010). Making policy deliberative: The case of the Citizens’ Initiative Review in Oregon. Master’s thesis at the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.

Knobloch, K. R. (2012). Civic (re)socializing: The transformative potential of deliberative public sphere structures. Doctoral dissertation at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Richards, R. (2016). Intersubjectively relevant information: An account of citizen-centered information and communication in democratic deliberation about ballot initiatives. Doctoral dissertation at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

Wubbold, A. J. (2018). Evaluating the impact of Oregon’s Citizen Initiative Review (CIR) on voter decisions.” Master’s thesis at Portland State University, Portland, OR.


Critiques of initiative process that reference remedies akin to the CIR

Gastil, J., Reedy, J., Wells, C. (2017). Knowledge distortion in direct democracy: A longitudinal study of biased empirical beliefs on statewide ballot measures. International Journal of Public Opinion Research.

Gastil, J., Reedy, J., & Wells, C. (2007). When good voters make bad policies: Assessing and improving the deliberative quality of initiative elections. University of Colorado Law Review, 78, 1435-1488.

Gastil, J., Smith, M. A., & Simmons, C. (2001). There’s more than one way to legislate: An integration of representative, direct, and deliberative approaches to democratic governance. University of Colorado Law Review, 72, 1005-1028.


Conference presentations and unpublished works

Gastil, J., & Richards, R. (2014, November). Symbolic-cognitive proceduralism as a robust justification for democratic deliberation. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association.

Richards, R. C., & Gastil, J. (2013, November). Legislation by amateurs: The role of legal details and knowledge in initiative deliberation. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association. Available at SSRN.

Archer, L. R. (2012, June). Evaluating experts: Understanding citizen assessments of technical discourse. In J. Goodwin (Ed.), Between scientists and citizens: Proceedings of a conference at Iowa State University. Ames, IA: Great Plains Society for the Study of Argumentation.

Gastil, J., Knobloch, K., Reedy, J., Henkels, M., & Walsh, K. C. (2011, November). Hearing a public voice in micro-level deliberation and macro-level politics: Assessing the impact of the Citizens’ Initiative Review on the Oregon electorate. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association.

Knobloch, K., & Raabe, R. (2011, November). Exploring the effects of deliberative participation through panelist self-reports. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association.

Richards, Robert C. (2011, November). Legal Narrative in the Citizens’ Panel: Identifying Theories to Explain Storytelling in a Small Group Deliberation About Ballot Initiatives. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association. Available at SSRN.


Early theoretical works conceptualizing processes like the CIR

John Gastil, By popular demand: Revitalizing representative democracy through deliberative elections. Berkeley, CA: University of California. Provides a rationale for using randomly-selected citizen panels to review candidates for public officials, but it also identifies CIR-like panels on ballot measures as the best place to start such reforms.

Ned Crosby, Healthy democracy: Bringing trustworthy information to the voters of America. Edina, MN: Beaver’s Pond Press, 2003. Provides a detailed blueprint for how a CIR-like process could operate and explains how it could help improve democracy.

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