Pol Sci Professor Molly Scudder Completes Semester as Academic Visitor at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance
Purdue Political Science assistant professor Molly Scudder recently returned from a semester as a visiting academic researcher at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance (CDDGG) in Canberra, Australia.
The CDDGG is the world-leading research institution and global hub for the study of deliberative democratic theory and practice. It is one of the three research centers housed in the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra. “The Centre is world renowned for combining normative political theory with empirical social science to further our understanding of democratic communication and decision making,” explained Scudder. “This normative-empirical focus was a great fit for my research in deliberative democracy.”
Morning tea expedited research
This visiting position at the CDDGG coincided with Scudder’s transition between projects. “Having just finished work on a book examining the normative significance of listening in democratic deliberation, I used my time at the Centre to begin work on a new project aimed at developing a ‘listening quality index’ for the measurement and assessment of listening in practice.”
Scudder continued, “There is no better place in the world to work on issues related to conceptualizing and measuring listening in the context of democratic deliberation. The Centre served as a kind of idea accelerator for me.”
The Centre’s tradition of Tuesday morning tea allowed Scudder time to discuss research and socialize with other faculty researchers, postdocs, and graduate students, helping Scudder advance her work. “Presenting my work and even just discussing my ideas over morning tea allowed the work to progress at a much faster rate than it would have if I had worked in isolation.”
Building new relationships and collaborations
Scudder gained friends, mentors, and future collaborators during her time in Canberra. She presented at a conference organized by a section of the Australian Political Science Association and met faculty from across Australia.
During her time in Australia, Scudder also developed an ongoing research collaboration with two professors at the University of Canberra, Selen Ercan and Kerry McCallum. Scudder hopes to present their joint research on the role of listening in the deliberative system at the American Political Science Association’s annual meeting this fall.
She is also discussing collaborations with other faculty affiliated with the CDDGG, such as implementing her listening quality index in experiments with André Bächtiger and his team at the University of Stuttgart in Germany.
Scudder shared her gratitude for her colleagues at the Centre, including John Dryzek, Selen Ercan, Nicole Curato, Jensen Sass, and Simon Niemeyer.
Scudder’s first book, Beyond Empathy and Inclusion: The Challenge of Listening in Democratic Deliberation, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press with expected publication in September 2020.