Education for deliberative democracy: Mapping the field

  • Martin Samuelsson
  • Steinar Bøyum
Nyckelord: education for democracy, deliberative democracy, deliberative pedagogy, literature review


The notion of deliberative democracy has been widely discussed in political theory the last twenty years. Deliberative democracy has also made an impression in educational research. Many who are interested in democratic education have started to ask how the skills and values characteristic of deliberative democracy can be taught and learned in the classroom. This work, however, is being done in different parts of the academic universe, and consequently the field of education for deliberative democracy can seem fragmented, which makes it difficult to achieve genuine progress. Building on a review of the literature, this article tries to structure the work in this field, by pointing out main lines of disagreement and differences in emphasis, as well as suggesting where work is needed to fruitfully translate the idea of deliberative democracy into an educational setting. Our main claim will be that there is a need for research on education for deliberative democracy that more thoroughly integrates the philosophical literature with empirical studies.
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