In common usage, “deliberation and democratic governance”
= active citizenship
= deliberative democracy
= citizen involvement
= citizen-centered work
= public engagement
= citizen participation
= public dialogue
= collaborative governance
= public deliberation
Different people define these terms in different ways – and in most cases, the meanings are blurry and overlapping.
The primary reason for this language confusion is that this field developed in different places, in different fields and issue areas, simultaneously.
And a list of coalitions of people and groups working on this issue…
The professional infrastructure for deliberation and democratic governance is growing as fast as the field itself. There are four networks that serve deliberation practitioners and researchers in different ways:
The Canadian Community on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) is a Canadian network that attracts many people from the U.S. and other countries to its biannual conferences. C2D2 convenes practitioners and advocates of related fields, such as intergroup dialogue and conflict resolution, in addition to people who work in deliberation and democratic governance.
The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC) is an alliance of practitioners and researchers representing more than 50 organizations and universities, all of whom share an interest in deliberation and democratic governance. More a think tank than a membership organization, the DDC develops publications, builds connections between different fields, and convenes meetings targeted at particular issues and areas for collaboration.
The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) is a network of practitioners that has particularly strong representation in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Many of the members of this association are planners and development specialists who have used democratic principles to involve citizens in land use and development decisions.
The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) is a network of over 700 organizations and individuals. Like C2D2, NCDD convenes practitioners in many related fields, such as intergroup dialogue, in addition to people working in deliberation and democratic governance. The NCDD website offers a comprehensive assortment of over 2,000 tools, best practices, and links related to participatory democracy, public engagement, collaborative action, and conflict resolution at all levels. The NCDD listserv reaches over 10,000 people.