Connecting micro-deliberation to electoral decision making: Institutionalizing the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review

Special report–Sortition in the twenty-first century
By Katherine R. Knobloch, John Gastil, Tyrone Reitman

Although deliberative mini-publics have grown in popularity, few have been formerly institutionalized in governing systems. The Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) is one deliberative mini-public that has been granted such legitimacy through its adoption in citizens’ initiative referenda in Oregon. The CIR connects the work of the mini-public to the larger electorate by creating a Citizens’ Statement that voters can use when casting their ballot in initiative elections. This article tells the story of the CIR and its journey to institutional legitimacy and explores how the process has been advocated for and adopted in new contexts.


  • deliberation
  • citizen initiative
  • mini-publics
  • political institutions
  • referendum
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