EDWARD L. LASCHER, JR.
Assessing Legislative Deliberation: A Preface to Empirical Analysis
Legislative Studies Quarterly XXI:501-19
Recent scholarship has stressed the importance of deliberation in legislative decision making. Yet the empirical basis for claims about deliberation is weak, and the concept of deliberation itself needs to be sharpened. In this article I attempt to lay the groundwork for a systematic analysis of deliberation in real-world legislatures. I provide a framework for studying deliberation, consider the largely ignored issue of deliberation quality, and offer a set of indicators for determining the extent and quality of deliberation. Additionally, I provide testable hypotheses about factors that promote deliberation. Perhaps most importantly, I provide recommendations for analyzing the consequences of deliberation.