Professor John Gastil
Professor, Department of Communication at the University of Washington
John Gastil was a visitor to the US Studies Centre in January 2011. He was a panellist in a Sydney Ideas public event "Why Deliberative Democracy Matters".
John is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington, where he specialises in group decision making, political deliberation, cultural cognition, and public scholarship. Prior to joining the University of Washington, Gastil received his communication PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994 and worked for three years at the University of New Mexico Institute for Public Policy.
In 1993, Gastil published Democracy in small groups: Participation, decision making, and communication (New Society Publishers), and he continued to explore democracy and deliberation at many levels of analysis in By popular demand: Revitalizing representative democracy through deliberative elections (University of California, 2000), The deliberative democracy handbook: Strategies for effective civic engagement in the twenty-first century (coedited with Peter Levine, Jossey-Bass, 2005), and Political communication and deliberation (Sage, 2008).
The National Science Foundation has supported three large-scale research programs in which Gastil has served as a principal investigator. The Jury and Democracy Project rediscovered the jury system as a valuable civic educational institution. Gastil has also contributed to the Cultural Cognition Project, which explores the cultural underpinnings of attitudes toward various public policy issues. Most recently, Gastil has worked with Australian colleagues to study the flow of ideas and arguments through the Citizens' Parliament held in Canberra in February, 2009.
We caught up with John Gastil during his visit to the US Studies Centre.