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John Gastil Portrait


Communication Arts & Sciences and Political Science Senior Scholar, the McCourtney Institute for Democracy
The Pennsylvania State University


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Topic Map

Research Topic Map Civil society and protest groups Communication in small groups The Australian Citizens' Parliament Jury behavior The Democracy Machine (online platform) The Group in society Democracy in Small Groups Civic Engagment The Jury and Democracy Group Decision Making Governance Theory and Practice of deliberative democracy Political Communication and Deliberation Delib. Democracy Handbook Democracy in Motion By Popular Demand The Citizens' Initiative Review Public forums, civic education, political socialization Direct Democracy
Sortition as an alternative to elections Public opinion and civic attitudes Public Opinion and Atts. Elections Cultural Cognition Project Voter Behavior, election dynamics, and campaings

Initiatives and Referenda

In By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy through Deliberative Elections I focused mostly on helping people vote among competing candidates, but offered a proposal suggesting a kind of citizen panel to improve referenda and initiative elections. A version of that reform became the Citizens' Initiative Review process, which began in Oregon in 2010 and has since been piloted in other states. For details, see Citizens' Initiative Review Research Project.

Also see:

Reedy, J., Wells, C., & Gastil, J. (2014). How voters become misinformed: An investigation of the emergence and consequences of false factual beliefs. Social Science Quarterly, 95, 1399-1418.

Gastil, J., & Richards, R. (2013). Making direct democracy deliberative through random assemblies. Politics & Society, 41, 253-281.

Wells, C., Reedy, J., Gastil, J., & Lee, C. (2009). Information distortion and voting choices: Assessing the origins and effects of factual beliefs in an initiative electionPolitical Psychology, 30, 953-969.

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

Forehand, M., Gastil, J., & Smith, M. A. (2004). Endorsements as voting cues: Heuristic and systematic processing in initiative electionsJournal of Applied Social Psychology34, 2215-2234.

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 governanceUniversity of Colorado Law Review, 72, 1005-1028.

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