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Deliberative democracy as a form of citizen engagement and social media as a means to achieving greater citizen engagement have both received considerable attention in recent years; however, little attention has been paid to the way deliberative democracy and social media function together. The central aim of this research is to highlight the normative considerations surrounding social media in a deliberative democratic process. To do this, the article uses Iris Marion Young's model of deliberative democracy that is rooted in inclusion, political equality, reasonableness, and publicity. Applying this model's normative values to the use of audience response systems demonstrates that social media have the capacity to fundamentally shift the normative dimensions of deliberative democracy by changing the process itself. The broad philosophical and social-theoretical concerns related to the implications of social media for long-standing ontological and epistemological questions of achieving "the public good" and structuring deliberative democratic processes underlie this work.


This article was originally published in Administrative Theory & Praxis, available at



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