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Speaking of Politics

Preparing College Students for Democratic Citizenship through Deliberative Dialogue

Katy J. Harriger Jill J. McMillan

221 pages
Kettering Foundation Press

In this book, authors Katy J.. Harriger and Jill J.. McMillan follow the “Democracy Fellows,” a group of 30 college students, during their 4 years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to discover whether their experiences in learning and practicing deliberation might counteract the alienation from public life that has overtaken so many young Americans today.

Their research design included classroom learning and practical experiences in organizing and conducting deliberative forums both on campus and in the Winston-Salem community. Observations gleaned from interviews, focus groups, and surveys of a comparison group and the larger student population indicate that, upon graduation, the Democracy Fellows had the skills and the interests needed to become more involved and responsible citizens than their fellow students.

Harriger, professor of political science, and McMillan, professor emerita of communication, offer some prescriptions for how deliberative practices might be adopted at other institutions of higher education as at least one important antidote to political disaffection among young people.

The book includes a foreword by David Mathews, president of the Kettering Foundation.

Author Bio

Katy J.. Harriger is a professor of political science at Wake Forest University where she teaches courses on American politics, courts, democracy, and citizenship. Harriger is the editor of Separation of Powers: Commentary and Documents (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2003) and the author of The Special Prosecutor in American Politics, 2nd ed. revised (University Press of Kansas, 2000) and Independent Justice: The Federal Special Prosecutor in American Politics (University Press of Kansas, 1992), as well as a number of articles in journals and law reviews. At Wake Forest, Harriger has been the recipient of the Reid Doyle Prize for Excellence in Teaching (1988), the John Reinhardt Distinguished Teaching Award (2002), and the Schoonmaker Award for Community Service (2006). She can still be reached by e-mail at harriger@wfu.edu.

Jill J.. McMillan is professor emerita of communication at Wake Forest University. Her teaching and research has focused on numerous aspects of communication and rhetoric in and around organizations and institutions: corporate identity, the strategies and impact of an organization’s public messages, communicate dysfunction among organizational members and groups, organizational democracy and decision making, and pedagogy in higher education. Her work has appeared in venues, such as Journal of Higher Education; Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion; and Management Communication Quarterly. She can be reached by e-mail at mcmillj@wfu.edu.