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James S. Fishkin, PhD

  • Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication
  • Professor of Political Science (by courtesy)
  • Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Director, Deliberative Democracy Lab

Encina Hall, E102
616 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305

(650) 723-4611 (voice)

Biography

James S. Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University, where he is a Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy). He is also Director of the Deliberative Democracy Lab at CDDRL (formerly the Center for Deliberative Democracy).

He is the author of a number of books, including Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform (Yale University Press, 1991), The Dialogue of Justice (Yale University Press, 1992 ), The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy (Yale University Press 1995). With Bruce Ackerman, he is the co-author of Deliberation Day (Yale University Press, 2004). And more recently, When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation (Oxford University Press, 2009 and Democracy When the People Are Thinking (Oxford University Press, 2018).

He is best known for developing Deliberative Polling® — a practice of public consultation that employs random samples of the citizenry to explore how opinions would change if they were more informed. Professor Fishkin and his collaborators have conducted Deliberative Polls in the US, Britain, Australia, Denmark, Bulgaria, China, Greece, Mongolia, Uganda, Tanzania, Brazil,  and other countries.

Fishkin has been a Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge, as well as a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Fishkin received his B.A. from Yale in 1970 and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale as well as a second Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cambridge.

publications

Journal Articles
February 2024

Can Deliberation Have Lasting Effects?

Author(s)
cover link Can Deliberation Have Lasting Effects?
Reports
June 2023

Metaverse Community Forum: Results Analysis

Author(s)
cover link Metaverse Community Forum: Results Analysis
Journal Articles
July 2021

Is Deliberation an Antidote to Extreme Partisan Polarization? Reflections on “America in One Room”

Author(s)
cover link Is Deliberation an Antidote to Extreme Partisan Polarization? Reflections on “America in One Room”

In The News

Larry Diamond and James Fishkin
News

Could deliberative democracy depolarize America? Stanford scholars think so

Deliberative democracy — informed and moderated discussion that transcends partisan identities —can lead to a depolarized and more democratic society, according to Stanford research.
cover link Could deliberative democracy depolarize America? Stanford scholars think so
Broadcast of South Korean national Deliberative Poll on Electoral Reform
News

National Deliberative Poll® in South Korea Shows Wide Support for Electoral Reform

Stanford’s Deliberative Democracy Lab assisted with a nationally broadcast Deliberative Poll® in South Korea to explore support for changing the country’s election laws. The project was conducted for the National Assembly by Hankook Research.
cover link National Deliberative Poll® in South Korea Shows Wide Support for Electoral Reform
2023 Nobel Prize Summit
News

Deliberative Democracy Lab to Demonstrate Deliberative Polling® Method at the 2023 Nobel Prize Summit

On May 25, CDDRL’s Deliberative Democracy Lab (DDL), in partnership with the Nobel Prize Summit, will run an exercise in large-scale group deliberation on the subject of online misinformation and polarization and what to do about it. This demonstration will help develop the capacity to democratically vet policy proposals concerning the information landscape.
cover link Deliberative Democracy Lab to Demonstrate Deliberative Polling® Method at the 2023 Nobel Prize Summit