Bio


James S. Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University where he is Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science. He is also Director of Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy and Chair of the Dept of Communication.

Fishkin received his B.A. from Yale in 1970 and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale as well as a second Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cambridge.

He is the author of a number of books including Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform (1991), The Dialogue of Justice (1992 ), The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy (1995). With Bruce Ackerman he is co-author of Deliberation Day (Yale Press, 2004). His most recent book When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation was published by Oxford University Press in fall 2009.

He is best known for developing Deliberative Polling® – a practice of public consultation that employs random samples of the citizenry to explore how opinions would change if they were more informed. Professor Fishkin and his collaborators have conducted Deliberative Polls in the US, Britain, Australia, Denmark, Bulgaria, China, Greece and other countries.

Fishkin has been a Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge as well as a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and a Guggenheim Fellow. In 2014 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • Professor of Communication, Stanford University (2003 - Present)
  • Professor of Political Science, Stanford University (2003 - Present)
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (2001 - 2002)
  • Professor of Government and Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin (1984 - 2003)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1984 - 1985)
  • Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (1981 - 1981)
  • Associate Professor of Political Science, Yale University (1979 - 1984)
  • Mellon Fellow, Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies,, Aspen, Colorado (1979 - 1979)
  • Junior Faculty Fellowship, Yale University (1978 - 1979)
  • Assistant Professor of Political Science, Yale University (1975 - 1979)
  • Lecturer in Political Science, Yale University (1974 - 1974)
  • Graduate Fellowship, Yale University (1972 - 1974)

Honors & Awards


  • Eyes of Texas Award, University of Texas at Austin (1996)
  • Visiting Fellow Commoner, Trinity College, Cambridge, England (1992-1993)
  • Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1987-1988)
  • Erik H. Erikson Prize, International Society of Political Psychology (1985)
  • Ehrman Studentship, Yale University (1970-1972)
  • Jacob Cooper Philosophy Prize, Yale University (1968)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Academic Advisor, What’s Next California
  • Member, Editorial Board, Social Philosophy and Policy
  • Academic Advisor, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions National Online Deliberative Poll (2007 - 2007)
  • Academic Advisor, Northern Ireland Deliberative Poll in Omagh (2007 - 2007)
  • Academic Advisor, National Bulgarian Deliberative Poll (2007 - 2007)
  • Academic Advisor European Wide Deliberative Poll, European Wide Deliberative Poll (2007 - 2007)
  • Academic Advisor, Italian Deliberative Poll for Regione Lazio (2006 - 2006)
  • Chair, Dept of Communication, Stanford University (2005 - Present)
  • Chair, Journalism Advisory Committee, Dept of Communication, Stanford University (2004 - 2005)
  • Director, Center for Deliberative Democracy, Stanford University (2003 - Present)
  • Janet M. Peck Chair, International Communication, Stanford University (2003 - Present)
  • Graduate Advisor, Dept of Communication, Stanford University (2003 - 2009)
  • Academic Advisor, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions (2001 - Present)
  • Director, Special Project, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford (2001 - 2002)
  • Patterson-Banister Chair in Government, Law and Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin (1999 - 2003)
  • Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School (1999 - 2002)
  • Member, Editorial Board, American Journal of Political Science (1998 - 2001)
  • Director, Center for Deliberative Polling, University of Texas at Austin (1996 - 2003)
  • Member, Penn National Commission on Society, Culture and Community (1996 - 1999)
  • Executive Director of the National Issues Convention broadcast, PBS (1996 - 1996)
  • Academic Advisor, Britain’s Channel 4 "Power and the People" (1994 - 2000)
  • Member, The Democracy Project, Public Broadcasting Service (1994 - 1998)
  • Chair, Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin (1988 - 2001)
  • Darrell K. Royal Regents Chair, Ethics and American Society and Professor of Government, Law and Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin (1988 - 1999)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green, Ohio (1987 - Present)
  • Associate Editor of Ethics, An International Journal of Social, Political and Legal Philosophy (1979 - 1992)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge, Philosophy (1976)
  • Ph.D., Yale University, Political Science (1975)
  • B.A., Magna Cum Laude, Yale College (1970)

2017-18 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Deliberation, Single-Peakedness, and the Possibility of Meaningful Democracy: Evidence from Deliberative Polls JOURNAL OF POLITICS List, C., Luskin, R. C., Fishkin, J. S., McLean, I. 2013; 75 (1): 80-95
  • Deliberating Across Deep Divides Political Studies Luskin, R. C., O’Flynn, I., Russell, D. 2012
  • Making Deliberative Democracy Practical: Public Consultation and Dispute Resolution Ohio State Journal of Dispute Resolution Fishkin, J. S. 2011; 22 (4): 611-626
  • Disaggregating Deliberation's Effects: An Experiment within a Deliberative Poll BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Farrar, C., Fishkin, J. S., Green, D. P., List, C., Luskin, R. C., Paluck, E. L. 2010; 40: 333-347
  • The Deliberative Deficit and What to Do About It The Good Society Fishkin, J. S. 2010; 19 (1): 66-76
  • Deliberative Democracy in an Unlikely Place: China’s First Deliberative Poll British Journal of Political Science Luskin, R. C., He, B., Siu, A., Fishkin, J. S. 2010; 40 (2): 435-448
  • Population and Political Theory (PPAS - Philosophy, Politics & Society) Fishkin, J. S. edited by Goodin, R. E. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 2010
  • Hitobito wa hanasu toki: Jukugi minshu shugi to kōkai kyōgi o Fishkin, J. S. Chinese edition, in press. 2010
  • When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation Fishkin, J. S. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2010
  • When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation Fishkin, J. S. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2009
  • Broadcasts of deliberative polls: Aspirations and effects BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Fishkin, J. S., Luskin, R. C. 2006; 36: 184-188
  • Experimenting with a democratic ideal: Deliberative Polling and public opinion ACTA POLITICA Fishkin, J. S., Luskin, R. C. 2005; 40 (3): 284-298
  • Defending Deliberation: A Comment on Ian Shapiro's State of Democratic Theory Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy Fishkin, J. S. 2005; 8 (1): 71-78
  • Deliberative Polling: From Experiment to Community Resource The Deliberative Democracy Handbook Farrar, C., Fishkin, J. S. edited by Gastil, J., Levine, P. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 2005
  • Deliberation Day Ackerman, B., Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press,. 2004
  • Debating Deliberative Democracy Fishkin, J. S. edited by Laslett, P. Oxford: Blackwell. 2003
  • Informed Public Opnion about Foreign Policy: The Uses of Deliberative Polling Brookings Review Brady , H. E., Luskin, R. C., Fishkin, J. S. 2003; 21 (3): 16-19
  • Considered Opinions: Deliberative Polling in the UK British Journal of Political Science Fishkin, J., Luskin, R. C., Jowell, R. 2002: 455-487
  • Deliberative polling and public consultation PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS Fishkin, J. S., Luskin, R. C., JOWELL, R. 2000; 53 (4): 657-666
  • Bringing Deliberation to the Democratic Dialogue A Poll With a Human Face: The National Issues Convention Experiment in Political Communication Luskin, R. C., Fishkin, J. S. edited by McCombs, M. . Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. 1999
  • The Quest for Deliberative Democracy The Good Society Luskin, R. C., Fishkin, J. S. 1999; 9 (1): 1-8
  • Making Deliberative Democracy Work: A Reply to Elkin, Lustig and Sanders The Good Society Luskin, R. C., Fishkin, J. S. 1999; 9 (1): 22-29
  • The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1997
  • The televised deliberative poll: An experiment in democracy ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE Fishkin, J. S. 1996; 546: 132-140
  • The Dialogue of Justice Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1996
  • The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1995
  • Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1993
  • The Dialogue of Justice Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1992
  • Bringing Deliberation to Democracy Contemporary Philosophy Fishkin, J. S. 1992; XIV (2): 4-7
  • The Deliberative Opinion Poll: A Dialogue The Public Perspective Ladd, E. C., Morin, R., Traugott, M. 1992; 3 (4): 29-34
  • Philosophy, Politics and Society, Sixth Series: Justice Between Age Groups and Generations Fishkin, J. S. edited by Laslett, P. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1992
  • A Voice for 'We the People' in the Electoral Process The Chronicle of Higher Education Fishkin, J. S. 1992; XXXVIII (43): A40
  • Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1991
  • Justice Between Generations: Compensation, Identity and Group Membership NOMOS XXXIII Compensatory Justice Fishkin, J. S. edited by Chapman, J. W. New York University Press. 1991: 85–96
  • TOWARDS A NEW SOCIAL-CONTRACT NOUS Fishkin, J. S. 1990; 24 (2): 217-226
  • In Search of the Social Contract Individual Liberty and Democratic Order Fishkin, J. S. edited by Lomasky, L., Brennan, G. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1989
  • Conflicting Ideals of Democracy: Reflections on Reform of the Democratic Process Hofstra Law Review Fishkin, J. S. 1989; 19 (2): 395-409
  • THE COMPLEXITY OF SIMPLE JUSTICE ETHICS Fishkin, J. S. 1988; 98 (3): 464-471
  • BARGAINING, JUSTICE, AND JUSTIFICATION - TOWARDS RECONSTRUCTION SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY & POLICY Fishkin, J. S. 1988; 5 (2): 46-64
  • Do We Need a Systematic Theory of Equal Opportunity? Equality of Opportunity Fishkin, J. S. edited by Bowie, N. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. 1988
  • The Case for a National Caucus: Taking Democracy Seriously The Atlantic Fishkin, J. S. 1988
  • Equal Opportunity versus Liberty Social Philosophy and Policy Fishkin, J. S. 1987; 5 (1): 32-48
  • Ideals without an Ideal: Justice, Democracy and Liberty in Liberal Theory Individual Liberty and Democratic Decision-making Fishkin, J. S. edited by Koslowski, P. J.C.B. Mohr. 1987
  • Beyond Subjective Morality: Ethical Reasoning and Political Philosophy Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1985
  • Defending Equality: The View from the Cave Michigan Law Review Fishkin, J. S. 1984; 82: 755-760
  • Justice, Equal Opportunity and the Family Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1984
  • UTILITARIANISM VERSUS HUMAN-RIGHTS - COMMENT ON GIBBARD SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY & POLICY Fishkin, J. 1984; 1 (2): 103-107
  • Beyond Subjective Morality: Ethical Reasoning and Political Philosophy Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1984
  • Justice Versus Utility Columbia Law Review Fishkin, J. S. 1984; 84 (1): 263-270
  • Justice, Equal Opportunity and the Family Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1983
  • CAN THERE BE A NEUTRAL THEORY OF JUSTICE ETHICS Fishkin, J. S. 1983; 93 (2): 348-356
  • Justice Between Generations: The Dilemma of Future Interests Social Justice Fishkin, J. S. edited by Bradie, M., Braybrooke, D. Bowling Green: Philosophy Documentation Center,. 1983
  • The Limits of Obligation Fishkin, J. S. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1983
  • The Boundaries of Justice Journal of Conflict Resolution Fishkin, J. S. 1983; 27 (2): 355-75
  • More Democracy? The London Review of Books Fishkin, J. S. 1982; 4 (11)
  • Philosophy, Politics and Society, Fifth Series Fishkin, J. S. edited by Laslett, P. Oxford: Basil Balckwell/New Haven: Yale University Press. 1979
  • Tyranny and Legitimacy: A Critique of Political Theories Fishkin, J. S. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1979
  • MORAL PRINCIPLES AND PUBLIC-POLICY DAEDALUS Fishkin, J. 1979; 108 (4): 55-67
  • JUSTICE AND RATIONALITY - SOME OBJECTIONS TO CENTRAL ARGUMENT IN RAWLS THEORY (Book Review) AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Book Review Authored by: Fishkin, J. 1975; 69 (2): 615-629