Public Deliberation: An Alternative to Politics as Usual

Building Common Ground

Cover of AJPH October 2023, Erika Blacksher, and Nellie Kassebaum.The October issue of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) is devoted to building common ground for public health action. The Center’s John B. Francis Chair Erika Blacksher, PhD, is the lead author of a commentary on the value of democratic deliberation for building shared values and purpose on population health challenges. Dr. Blacksher authored the commentary with her research team, including the Center’s Nellie Kassebaum, MPH, Research Coordinator.

“Building a ‘We’ With Deliberative Dialogue in Pursuit of Health for All” identifies four core principles and practices to gather well-informed public input on tough value-laden questions, approaches for how to design deliberations to open discussion rather than shut it down, and ways to operationalize democratic deliberation in the health sector.

The issue’s opening editorial, by Sanne Morgan, MD, PhD, and David Kindig, MD, PhD, highlights the Center’s work under Dr. Blacksher’s leadership to create a toolkit for deliberative dialogue and decision-making, citing it as an important resource for fostering common ground.

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