James Fishkin

Director,
Center for Deliberative Democracy, Stanford University

James S. Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University, where he is Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy). He is also Director of Stanford’s new Center for Deliberative Democracy. He is the author of a number of books including Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform (1991), The Dialogue of Justice (1992), and The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy (1995). He is best known for developing Deliberative Polling—a practice of public consultation that employs random samples of the citizenry to explore how opinions would change if they were more informed. Professor Fishkin and his collaborators have conducted Deliberative Polls in the US, Britain, Australia, Denmark, Bulgaria, and other countries. While Deliberative Polling events are typically televised, face-to-face discussions, he has recently conducted the first online version in collaboration with Shanto Iyengar of Stanford and MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. Fishkin has been a Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge as well as a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, and a Guggenheim Fellow. Professor Fishkin received his BA from Yale in 1970 and holds a PhD in Political Science from Yale as well as a second PhD in Philosophy from Cambridge.