James S. Fishkin

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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)


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.