Four Parameters for Measuring Democratic Deliberation: Theoretical and Methodological Challenges and How to Respond

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Four Parameters for Measuring Democratic Deliberation: Theoretical and Methodological Challenges and How to Respond


  • Dannica Fleuß Department of Political Science, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg
  • Karoline Helbig Department of Political Science, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg
  • Gary S. Schaal Department of Political Science, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg


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Abstract:  Although measuring democratic deliberation is necessary for a valid measurement of the performance of democracies, it poses serious theoretical and methodological challenges. The most serious problem in the context of research on democratic performance is the need for a theoretical and methodological approach for “upscaling” the measurement of deliberation from the micro and meso level to the macro level. The systemic approach offers a useful framework for this purpose. Building on this framework, this article offers a modular approach consisting of four parameters for conceptualization, measurement, and aggregation which can be adjusted to make the measurement of democratic deliberation compatible with the various general measurement approaches adopted by different scholars.

Keywords:  deliberation; democracy; democratic performance; measurement of democracy; systemic approach

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v6i1.1199


© Dannica Fleuß, Karoline Helbig, Gary S. Schaal. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.