From Knowable Magazine:
As hard as it may be to believe — especially in times of government shutdowns and partisan paralysis — people of different backgrounds and beliefs really can get together to discuss tricky issues and reach a consensus. Productive political discourse isn’t just a utopian fantasy. Recent history has shown that rigorous, thoughtful debate can change minds and shape policies, but harnessing this power isn’t simple.
Partly spurred on by the dysfunction of the times, researchers are taking a close look at the conversations in legislatures and city halls with the ultimate goal of building new systems that produce better results with less acrimony. One particularly promising approach is “democratic deliberation,” a type of discourse where a group of people analyze a problem, gather facts and suggest potential solutions. Jury deliberations are the classic example, and governments and researchers are now experimenting with approaches that essentially take such jury-type discussion out of the courthouse and into the world at large.