When Does Deliberation Begin? Internal Reflection versus Public Discussion in Deliberative Democracy



Political deliberation involves both internal reflection and public discussion. The former might be far more important than implied by deliberative democrats’ heavy emphasis on the discursive component. Analysis of the deliberations of a citizen's jury on an Australian environmental issue shows jurors’ attitudes changing more in response to the ‘information’ phase of the jury proceedings, involving a large degree of ‘deliberation within’, than during the formal ‘discussion’ phase. Various ways can be imagined for evoking internal reflection of that sort, even in mass-political settings.