in: Political research quarterly: PRQ ; official journal of the Western Political Science Association and other associations, p. 106591292198944
Recent political theory in the area of deliberative democracy has placed listening at the normative core of meaningfully democratic deliberation. Empirical research in this area, however, has struggled to capture democratic listening in a normatively relevant way. This paper presents a new, theoretically informed instrument for measuring and assessing listening in deliberation. Here, I tackle the observational challenge of measuring the act of listening itself, as opposed to either the preconditions or outcomes of listening. Reviewing existing measures, I show that each, in isolation, fails to capture the most democratically meaningful aspects of listening. The paper argues, however, that existing and novel measures can be usefully combined to allow researchers to capture different degrees of democratic listening. Using Rawls's concept of "lexical priority," I aggregate relevant components of listening into a normatively significant lexical scale. The paper describes this novel measurement and highlights how it can be used in empirical research on democratic deliberation.