A Typology of Reasoning in Deliberative Processes:  A Study of the 2010 Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review


Deliberative democracy processes encourage people to engage in thoughtful analysis and well-reasoned discussion about a public issue. Though scholarship examining deliberative forums has expanded greatly in recent years, there is still much to learn about information processing in deliberation – more specifically, how citizens express different forms of reasoning, and how they voice disagreement with their fellow participants. To more closely examine these two areas, we conducted a qualitative thematic analysis of transcripts from a notable deliberative forum, the Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR), with a focus on the 2010 Oregon CIR forum on medical marijuana legalization. We used this analysis to develop a typology of different forms of reasoning expressed in deliberation: inductive, deductive, causal, analogical, expressing uncertainty, and questioning. In addition, we identified four primary forms of voicing disagreement in deliberation: questioning, repackaging, agreeing-to-disagree, and discrediting others. We conclude by exploring the implications of this analysis for deliberation scholarship and practice, and suggesting future areas of research that could further explore reasoning and disagreement in deliberative democracy.


deliberative analysis, political psychology, deliberative mini-publics, political disagreement, Deliberative reasoning

How to Cite

Fischer, K. & Reedy, J. & Piercy, C. & Thapaliya, R., (2022) “A Typology of Reasoning in Deliberative Processes: A Study of the 2010 Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review”, Journal of Deliberative Democracy 18(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/jdd.951







Ken Fischer (University of Oklahoma)
Justin Reedy orcid logo (University of Oklahoma)
Cameron Piercy orcid logo (University of Kansas)
Rashmi Thapaliya (Eastern Illinois University)





Creative Commons Attribution 4.0


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This article has been peer reviewed.

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