Deliberative Structure

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"A deliberative structure or deliberative framework or deliberation framework or argumentation framework is central to an online deliberation scheme. It allows participants to express their views in a semi-structured way (that is, a little more disciplined than plain text and a little less disciplined than formal databases).

The best-known lineage of deliberative structures was started by Horst Rittel at Berkeley in the US in the 1970s; It was eventually developed into the gIBIS hypertext system in the 1980s, a predecessor to the World Wide Web that supported many semantic web features. The most interesting of which was the division of statements into issues and positions so that a neutral issue statement and biased position statements could be accomodated on the same page. There were two direct descendants of this work by 2007:

  • The question/idea/pro/con model championed by Jeff Conklin, suitable for dialogue mapping and early brainstorming, which he had developed through his work at CM/1 and MCC, now expressed in his proprietary Compendium system
  • The issue/position/argument or issue/policy/argument model implemented by the Green Party of Canada Living Platform, Living Agenda,, and This mimics the classic deliberative structure used in adversarial process such as a criminal court, and merely accelerates it via online deliberation in mediawiki or tikiwiki, for which software the conventions have been must fully developed to date."