Jump to content

James S. Fishkin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James S. Fishkin
Fishkin at the first edition of the Democracy 2050 conference, organized by the Tribu Foundation in Santiago de Chile in 2018
Born1948 (age 75–76)
EducationYale University (BA, PhD); Cambridge University (PhD)
Occupation(s)Professor, author
Notable workDeliberative Polling
TitleJanet M. Peck Chair in International Communication, Stanford University

James S. Fishkin (born 1948) is an American political scientist and communications scholar. He holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication in the Department of Communication at Stanford University, where he serves as a professor of communication and, by courtesy, political science. He also acts as the director of Stanford’s Deliberative Democracy Lab. Fishkin is widely cited for his work on deliberative democracy, with his proposition of Deliberative Polling in 1988 being particularly influential. Together with Robert Luskin, Fishkin's work has led to over 100 deliberative polls in 28 countries.[1]


Fishkin earned his BA and Ph.D. in political science from Yale University, and his second Ph.D. in philosophy from King's College, Cambridge University. He currently leads the Deliberative Democracy Lab at Stanford University (formerly known as the Center for Deliberative Democracy).[2] He has held numerous fellowships, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a visiting fellow commoner role at Trinity College, Cambridge. Fishkin was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.[1]

Deliberative polling[edit]

The deliberative opinion poll, a concept proposed by Fishkin, involves gathering a representative random sample of people to deliberate on a specific issue. Participants are provided with briefing materials, carefully designed to represent all viewpoints in a balanced manner. After a day or more of deliberation, they are asked to register their considered opinions. These decisions have been used in various contexts such as electing candidates in primaries (e.g., in Greece), recommending policy decisions (e.g., in China and Texas), among other applications. It also served as the foundation for "Power and the People," a Channel 4 program on which Fishkin consulted, airing in the UK from 1994 to 1999.



Deliberative democracy[edit]

  • Fishkin, James S. Democracy When the People Are Thinking: Revitalizing Our Politics Through Public Deliberation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Fishkin, James S. When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Paperback edition, 2010. Japanese edition, 2010; Chinese edition, in press.
  • Ackerman, Bruce and James S. Fishkin. Deliberation Day. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-300-10964-1
  • Laslett, Peter and James S. Fishkin. Debating Deliberative Democracy. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003.
  • Fishkin, James S. The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995; expanded paperback edition, Fall 1997.
  • Fishkin, James S. The Dialogue of Justice: Toward a Self-Reflective Society. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992; paperback edition, 1996.
  • Fishkin, James S. Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1991; paperback edition, 1993.
  • Laslett, Peter; Fishkin, James S. (Eds). Philosophy, Politics and Society, Sixth Series: Justice Between Age Groups and Generations. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992.

Political theory and philosophy[edit]

  • Goodin, Robert E.; Fishkin, James S. (Eds). Population and Political Theory (PPAS - Philosophy, Politics & Society). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
  • Fishkin, James S. Beyond Subjective Morality: Ethical Reasoning and Political Philosophy. Yale University Press, 1986.
  • Fishkin, James S. Justice, Equal Opportunity and the Family. Yale University Press,1984.
  • Fishkin, James S. Limits of Obligation. Yale University Press, 1982.
  • Fishkin, James S. Tyranny and Legitimacy: A Critique of Political Theories. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979.

Journal papers[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About Us | Deliberative Democracy Lab". deliberation.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2023-07-06.
  2. ^ "James Fishkin's Profile | Stanford Profiles". profiles.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2023-07-06.