New England Center for Civic Life

Deliberative Democracy

The New England Center for Civic Life

The New England Center for Civic Life is dedicated to the teaching, practice and study of deliberative democracy. The Center's initiatives and research are based on the premise that in order to foster strong communities, based on principles of inclusiveness and equity, individuals must engage in thoughtful and civil dialogue. The Center serves as a resource for students, higher education professionals and community members.

The Center for Civic Life was founded in 1998 on the premise that engaged and deliberative communities are vital for a healthy democracy and for individuals to realize their goal of experiencing rich and fulfilling lives. Through creating and implementing initiatives that uses deliberative practices-whether in the community or in the classroom-the Center creates opportunities for people to become active producers of knowledge and engaged members of their communities.

What is deliberative democracy?

Explicit links are made between personal experiences and local, regional, national or global issues ... The Center's programs ask participants to think critically, listen attentively, examine assumptions, value diversity and publicly voice their ideas."