Key Concept #60: Deliberation by Leah Sprain

Key Concepts in ICDThe next issue of Key Concepts in intercultural Dialogue is now available. This is KC60: Deliberation by Leah Sprain. As always, all Key Concepts are available as free PDFs; just click on the thumbnail to download. Lists organized  chronologically by publication date and numberalphabetically by concept in English, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

Key Concept #60: Deliberation by Leah Sprain

Sprain, L. (2015). Deliberation. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 60. Available from:

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue publishes a series of short briefs describing Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue. Different people, working in different countries and disciplines, use different vocabulary to describe their interests, yet these terms overlap. Our goal is to provide some of the assumptions and history attached to each concept for those unfamiliar with it. As there are other concepts you would like to see included, send an email to the series editor, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz. If there are concepts you would like to prepare, provide a brief explanation of why you think the concept is central to the study of intercultural dialogue, and why you are the obvious person to write up that concept.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Leah Sprain Profile

Leah Sprain
is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Leah Sprain

Her research focuses on democratic engagement, studying how specific communication practices facilitate and inhibit democratic action. Her research and teaching draw on language and social interaction perspectives to explore deliberation, environmental communication, and social movement activism. Outreach and praxis are crucial to democratic engagement thus much of her research is collaborative and focused on the practice-theory interface. As an ethnographer of communication, she has conducted extended fieldwork in Nicaragua and the United States. She co-edited Social Movement to Address Climate Change: Local Steps for Global Action, and her work appears in the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, and Communication Theory. She received her BA from Pacific Lutheran University, and MA and PhD from the University of Washington.

Key Publications:

Carcasson, M. & Sprain, L. (in press). Beyond problem solving: Re-conceptualizing the work of public deliberation as deliberative inquiry. Communication Theory.

Sprain, L., Carcasson, M., & Merolla, A. (2014). Experts in public deliberation: Lessons from a deliberative design on water needs. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 42, 150-167.

Sprain, L. & Gastil, J. (2013). What does it mean to deliberate? An interpretive account of jurors’ expressed deliberative rules and premises. Communication Quarterly, 61, 151-171.

Sprain, L. & Boromisza-Habashi, D. (2013). The ethnographer of communication at the table: Building cultural competence, designing strategic action. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 41, 181-187. [Introduction to a Special Forum on Ethnography of Communication in Applied Communication Research]

Witteborn, S. & Sprain, L. (2010). Grouping processes in a public meeting from an ethnography of communication and cultural discourse analysis perspective. International Journal of Public Participation, 3, 14-35.

Endres, D., Sprain, L., & Peterson, T. R. (Eds.) (2009). Social movement to address climate change: Local steps for global action. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press.

Work for CID:
Leah Sprain wrote KC60: Deliberation.