Open Discourse Project

Open Discourse Project A different kind of conversation for a different kind of politics. The Open Discourse Project is creating a space for public deliberation untangled from the master narratives currently constraining the political sphere.

By moving away from political speak and simplistic storylines, we are modeling a new kind of civic engagement- one that is not only at the heart of a democracy, but contributes to quality of our society and governance. The strength of a democracy is located not in voter turnout at the polls, but rather in the nature of citizen engagement and quality of knowledge production in the public sphere. Contemporary advancements in technology have not only enlarged the public sphere- they have changed the nature of public engagement. Public deliberation is no longer confined to the walls of the town hall, but increasingly takes place through online platforms. We have seen how quickly social issues lose their complexity and disagreements escalate in this type of environment. We have also seen an increase in various types of media that seek to complicate these social issues, and the ease with which this information is shared and serves to texture the public sphere with different perspectives. The Open Discourse Project (ODP) aims to support citizens in having a different type of conversation both through social media and in their daily interactions around complex social issues; a type of conversation that maintains each persons’ moral legitimacy, through which they learn strategies for elevating the quality of political narratives within their own circles. ODP will run concurrently with the 2016 Presidential Campaign and will model a public deliberative space in which heated conflicts over pressing social issues can be discussed in a manner conducive to productive democratic practice, rather than the limited options presented by politicians and news media. Through a series of online workshops, discussions, and narrative critiques of campaign rhetoric, the Open Discourse Project will model this robust public sphere for deliberation and showcase the power of citizen engagement online. Showcasing the utility of a narrative lens for evaluating and engaging in political discourse, we will use real-time campaign examples and braid together theory and practice. Learning and doing narrative work are often one in the same. To this end, the project includes a diverse audience including students, scholars, practitioners, engaged citizens, and those currently working and commentating on political life in the area. The project will run until the presidential elections in 2016. The Open Discourse Project is hosted by the Center for Narrative and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Mission: The Open Discourse Project (ODP) is working toward a better, stronger democracy through increasing the quality of civic engagement and public knowledge using narrative theory and practice.

Operating as usual

Join us after our debate recap for a conversation on the recent violence in Paris and Beirut, as we process and make sen...
11/16/2015

Join us after our debate recap for a conversation on the recent violence in Paris and Beirut, as we process and make sense of the current state of our international political arena.

11/11/2015
Get Involved

Have thoughts you'd like to share or questions to ask about last night's debate? Tweet them at us at @Open_Discourse or submit a blog post on our website at:
http://www.opendiscourseproject.org/involvement/

The Open Discourse Project (ODP) aims to support citizens in having a different type of conversation both through social media and in their daily interactions around complex social issues. We would like to invite you to join the conversation by submitting your reflections and analysis of the storyli…

11/11/2015
Changing the Conversation

Join in our conversation starting up on the blog as we identify, analyze, and detangle the narratives of the political sphere. We would love to hear your comments and critiques!

First GOP Debate Watch Party November 11, 2015 Last week, I attended the Open Discourse Project’s first debate watch party, and it has left me simultaneously buzzing and stuck in thought. Housed within The Center for Narrative and Conflict Resolution, the aim of this project is to look at the narrat…

Thankfully, the groups of candidates will be broken into smaller groups during the FBN #Election2016 #GOPDebate. Hopeful...
11/10/2015

Thankfully, the groups of candidates will be broken into smaller groups during the FBN #Election2016 #GOPDebate. Hopefully this gives us more time and depth with each candidate and their ideas.

11/10/2015
ow.ly

We'll be livetweeting the #Election2016 #GOPdebate, tweet us your thoughts to @Open_Discourse or better yet join us at GMU Arlington in the Center for the Study of Narrative Analysis and Conflict Resolution - CNCR details in the event link http://ow.ly/UtGZO

Cavuto warned that at its heart, Tuesday’s debate will be a serious discussion about issues and that Fox Business won't ...
11/09/2015
For debate, Fox Business aims to be the anti-CNBC

Cavuto warned that at its heart, Tuesday’s debate will be a serious discussion about issues and that Fox Business won't become a character in the campaign soap opera.

“This stuff in and of itself is riveting. People are tuning in for a reason. They're engaged in this process so you don’t have to sell it like some sort of TV drama, it writes itself,” Cavuto said. “So we should just make sure we’re being informative and people feel informed, and we'll let chips fall where they may.”


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/fox-business-republican-debate-cavuto-bartiromo-215634#ixzz3r12p9kRB

Moderators Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo vow to stay out of the action.

11/07/2015

& yet:How can they govern together when language about their Other is "Cowardly,lib,SOCIALIST,science deniers, job takers",etc #Election2016

11/07/2015

1 of the best questions tonight was about which GOP rival the candidates would LEAD WITH. #MSNBC2016 #Election2016 @SCARatGMU

11/07/2015

Maybe a 3rd party moderator and 1 addtl hr to keep ppl on track with answering direct questions would benefit us. #Election2016 #MSNBC2016

11/07/2015

The civility was def refreshing in the @DemocraticForum @Election2016,not unlike the GOP forum hosted @CSPAN back in Aug.Learn anything new?

11/07/2015

Something the Establishment @GOP, Establishment @TheDemocrats, and all the outliers agree on: Shallow #MSM political discourse is bad.

What is @TheDemocrats story?Don't forget the #MSNBC2016 Dem forum tonight @ 8pm Eastern! http://ow.ly/UkGEK
11/06/2015

What is @TheDemocrats story?Don't forget the #MSNBC2016 Dem forum tonight @ 8pm Eastern! http://ow.ly/UkGEK

We've all got "that friend" that posts cringe worthy political memes, how have you positively engaged? #Election2016
11/04/2015

We've all got "that friend" that posts cringe worthy political memes, how have you positively engaged? #Election2016

11/04/2015

Sound-byte narratives fit the commercial #MSM way of doing business. We can do better thru open,tact dialogue.Get beyond the #talkingpoints

#POTUS definitely has a flair for amusing snarky quips,but what does this do to #Election2016 #GOP & #DEM narratives? ht...
11/03/2015
Obama rips into 2016 GOP field - CNNPolitics.com

#POTUS definitely has a flair for amusing snarky quips,but what does this do to #Election2016 #GOP & #DEM narratives? http://ow.ly/UaAaw S-car Gmu

President Barack Obama tore into Republican presidential candidates Monday night at a Democratic fundraising event in New York.

Within the context of their victim (of the press) narrative this makes sense, what else is a "muted" or misrepresented v...
11/03/2015
Breaking away? GOP campaigns push for debate changes, may hold...

Within the context of their victim (of the press) narrative this makes sense, what else is a "muted" or misrepresented voice to do? Assuming the GOP Presidential hopefuls get their way, who benefits? The candidates with a presumably "friendly", less critical, less sensational press? How can the electorate be included in the debate process to even the field between the media, politicians, and the people? http://ow.ly/U9PpW #Election2016 #GOPDebate

The campaigns of Republican presidential candidates will meet Sunday night to discuss problems with the 2016 debates and to try to devise a...

Check out this letter from the RNC to NBC. This is gives us some insight into the themes and perspectives that make up t...
10/30/2015
Letter to NBC News

Check out this letter from the RNC to NBC. This is gives us some insight into the themes and perspectives that make up this parties narrative. What are your thoughts? What does this tell us about future attempts at productive, positive dialogue? http://ow.ly/U3PkJ

I write to inform you that pending further discussion between the Republican National Committee (RNC) and our presidential campaigns, we are...

10/29/2015

How radical would it be if the candidates cooperated and demanded better, more respectful questions? #GOPDebate #opendiscourse

10/28/2015

As the Republican Presidential Debate is just beginning, consider these questions tonight:

Are there certain opinions and beliefs candidates are pressured to support? Where do you think this pressure comes from?

Do candidates stick to their stories when responding to each other?

How do you imagine the stories might change if these candidates were on stage with a Democrat? With President Obama?

What does the name "Your Money, Your Vote" imply about the nature of civic engagement in democracy?

Let us know your thoughts!

Can't make it over to Arlington? We'll also be covering the National Student Town Hall at the Fairfax campus with Bernie...
10/28/2015

Can't make it over to Arlington? We'll also be covering the National Student Town Hall at the Fairfax campus with Bernie Sanders!

Open Discourse Project
10/28/2015

Open Discourse Project

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10/21/2015

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