This course examines the theory and practice of deliberative democracy and engages both in a dialogue with critics. Can a democracy which emphasizes people thinking and talking together on the basis of good information be made practical in the modern age? What kinds of distortions arise when people try to discuss politics or policy together? The course draws on ideas of deliberation from Madison and Mill to Rawls and Habermas as well as criticisms from the jury literature, from the psychology of group processes and from the most recent normative and empirical literature on deliberative forums. Deliberative Polling, its applications, defenders and critics, both normative and empirical, will provide a key case for discussion.