First Advisor

Bruce Gilley

Term of Graduation

Spring 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Political Science


Political Science




Deliberative democracy, Democracy



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 137 pages)


Deliberative democratic theory emphasizes deliberation as central to the health of democracy. It has grown to be one of the most active and popular stands of political theory. In response to criticisms that deliberative democracy was unworkable at the large scale, the field made a systemic turn and now conceives of political communities as potential deliberative systems. While advancements have been made in measuring the quality of deliberation that occurs in deliberative forums, the practice of measuring the quality of deliberative systems is in its infancy. Authors have proposed various theoretical paths to assessing deliberative systems but no standardized method capable of producing replicable results exists. In this thesis, I offer two contributions to the ongoing discussion of the measure of deliberative systems. The first contribution is a proposal and outline of a process-based method for assessing and aggregating the components of deliberative systems into a single score. The second contribution is an argument that we can use a measure of meta-consensus among the members of a polity to indirectly measure the quality of a deliberative system.


© 2022 Darren Michael McCormick

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