Deliberative Democracy in Action: A Case Study of Animal Protection

  • Robert Garner University of Leicester


This article provides a case study of deliberative forums concerned with animal protection issues. It is argued that, whilst the deliberative exercises reviewed had relatively little impact on policy makers, there was some evidence of an attitude shift amongst the participants, and these tended to be in the direction of support for greater protection for animals. However, there are three important caveats to this conclusion. First, the opinion shifts documented all came about as a result of the provision of information which, strictly speaking, can be separated from deliberation. Secondly, there was no evidence of a shift in values; thirdly, and perhaps not surprisingly, shifts of opinion were less likely to occur when partisans were involved.