New Project on Honest Brokering and Citizen Juries

The Honest Broker (Cambridge University Press)

I am starting a small new project focused on honest brokering and citizen juries in practice.

The notion of an “honest broker of policy alternatives” is one that I introduced in my 2007 book, The Honest Broker. Since that time, the concept (and associated ones) has been explored both in academic work and in the actual practice of government science advice, in many settings around the world. I have led an NSF-sponsored project over the past two years looking at science advice in the pandemic in more than 15 countries.

For this project I will survey work done related to the implementation of honest brokering mechanisms in actual practice, with a focus on developing guidelines for real-world practice, with a focus on California (such and the MOST program in Missouri, the CCST in California and LSEN of the AAAS) and across policy issues.

A citizen jury is a small group of people (typically up to several dozen) who are asked to meet to conduct extended deliberations on an important topic of policy. They are not expected to be experts, but citizens. They are compensated for their time and accommodations are made to facilitate participation (e.g., childcare or travel), in order to facilitate participation of those who otherwise may be excluded from participating. Citizen juries have been used, with positive results, in countries around the world. For this project I will survey work done related to the implementation of citizen jury mechanisms in actual practice, with a focus on developing guidelines for real-world practice, with a focus on U.S. and international settings where such techniques have been applied, and across policy issues. 

The project is supported by Environmental Progress, and products will be made public as they are produced.

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