Most of the contributors to this issue presented earlier versions of their papers at a one-day symposium,†Deliberative Democracy: From experimentation to application,†which was held at University College Cork in March 2010. The seminar was the brainchild of Dr Clodagh Harris of the Department of Government, UCC and was supported by a small grant from the Irish Social Science Initiative for the 21st Century (ISS21). Professor JŁrg Steiner, delivered the keynote address and has kindly allowed a chapter from his forthcoming book to be included in this special issue.
We wish to thank all those who have contributed papers to this issue and to all the blind peer-reviewers who gave of their time to offer incisive comments. We wish to give a special word of thanks to Ms Vanessa Thurner who acted as an editorial assistant for this issues, without her exhaustive efforts it would not have reached publication.
We hope the issue prompts debate and discussion.
Dr Sťamus†” Tuama, and Dr Gerard Mullally (Joint Editors)