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