The Role of Experts across Two Different Arenas in a Deliberative System


The notion of a “deliberative system” has become central to debates on deliberation. The plea to regard deliberative processes from a system-wide perspective is genuinely innovative and attractive, but little has been done to understand how deliberation in one arena or a separate institution relates to other arenas. This study investigates the role that experts play in public communication in two arenas that have distinct systemic functions. It compares how experts express and justify their opinions on a controversial public policy in legislative public hearings and when they are quoted in the news media. Our findings, based on an empirical case study, revealed that experts played a similar role in different contexts in micro- and macro arenas; and most debate participants appealed to technical knowledge to compel a particular decision. Our analysis concludes by reflecting upon the interconnectivities of the aforementioned arenas; and the systemic approach implications on empirical research.


mass media, public hearing, transit policies, experts, deliberative system

How to Cite

Maia R. & Laranjeira M. & Mundim P., (2017) “The Role of Experts across Two Different Arenas in a Deliberative System”, Journal of Public Deliberation 13(1). doi:







Rousiley C. M. Maia (The Federal University of Minas Gerais)
Marcela D. Laranjeira (The Federal University of Minas Gerais)

Pedro S. Mundim (The Federal University of Goias)





Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

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