James S. Fishkin

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James S. Fishkin, PhD

  • Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication
  • Professor of Political Science (by courtesy)
  • Director, Deliberative Democracy Lab

McClatchy Hall
Rm. 350

(650) 723-4611 (voice)


James S. Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University where he is Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy). He is also Director of Stanford's 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 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.