Defending Democracy with Deliberative Technology

Author: Lisa Schirch

Publication info: Keough School of Global Affairs, March 2024

Full text: Read this brief at


Deliberative technologies offer policymakers, think tanks, tech companies, and civil society new paths to stem the tide of democratic backsliding. This brief recommends using deliberative technologies to:

  1. Foster more robust civic engagement
  2. Build trust in public institutions by aligning governance with public will
  3. Improve understanding of policy issues
  4. Synthesize large qualitative inputs
  5. Depolarize policy debates and bridge polarized publics
  6. Generate new policy options offering opportunities for collective intelligence
  7. Transform the polarizing qualities of social media conversations.

Recommended citation

Schirch, Lisa. Defending Democracy with Deliberative Technologies. Keough School Policy Brief Series. Notre Dame, IN: Keough School of Global Affairs, 2024.