James Fishkin

James S. Fishkin is the Director of Stanford University’s Center for Deliberative Democracy and Chair of the Dept of Communication. He holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford and is a Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science there.

He is the author of a number of books including Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform (1991), The Dialogue of Justice (1992 ), The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy (1995). With Bruce Ackerman he is co-author of Deliberation Day (Yale Press, 2004). His new book When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation will be published by Oxford University Press in fall 2009.

He is best known for developing Deliberative Polling® — a practice of public consultation that employs random samples of the citizenry to explore how opinions would change if they were more informed. Professor Fishkin and his collaborators have conducted Deliberative Polls in the United States, Britain, Australia, Denmark, Bulgaria, China, Greece and other countries.

Fishkin has been a Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge as well as a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and a Guggenheim Fellow. Fishkin received his B.A. from Yale in 1970 and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale as well as a second Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cambridge.