The Southwestern Pennsylvania Program for Deliberative Democracy

America's Role in the World

October 16, 2004

On Saturday, October 16th, 2004, the Pittsburgh Region participated in its second Deliberative Poll on issues relating to America's Role in the World. Over 100 people, selected by random and approximating the demographic profile of the area, gathered for this event. Expert panelists, community leaders, and a host of representatives from the media attended this convocation hosted by Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

A separate group of 10 citizens used advanced, multimedia online tools for modelling this face-to-face deliberative process (see Project PICOLA).

More information about this event, both here in Pittsburgh and across the nation, can be found by going to By the People.

Poll Results

We invited citizens of Allegheny County of a variety of political viewpoints, ages, income levels, etc to participate. The 104 who seized the opportunity to discuss the issues approximated the demographic profile of the area—except that they were disproportionately Democrats and supporters of John Kerry. (They were also somewhat better educated than the sample as a whole.)

Initial results as well as observer reports reveal that, despite the over-representation of Democrats, a genuine exchange of views occurred. The results reflect an apparent moderating of viewpoints on some controversial questions. For example, on questions 4 (intervening without allies), 16 (protection vs. free trade), and 17 (penalizing outsourcing), the results show significant moves away from strong to more moderate views.

Download all participants' profiles and responses. (PDF)
Download Pittsburgh participants' profiles and responses. (PDF)

Alliances & Partners

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

The League of Women Voters (Pittsburgh Chapter)

Global Connections of Pittsburgh

Chatham College's Pennsylvania Women in Politics and Public Policy

Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Funds from the National Science Foundation and support from Macromedia assisted in the creation of the software used during this event.

In the News

"Time To Choose: A By the People Election Special." This national PBS television program aired on Thursday, October 21 on WQED tv13.

WQED Multimedia's OnQ devoted three episodes to the local Citizen Deliberations.

Expert Panel

James B. Burnham: Duquesne University, Murrin Professor In Global Competitiveness
Laurie Zittrain Eisenberg: Carnegie Mellon University, Department Of History
Janne Nolan: Univ. of Pittsburgh, International Affairs
Simon F. Reich: Univ. of Pittsburgh, Political Science, International Affairs

© Copyright 2005 Southwestern Pennsylvania Program for Deliberative Democracy