Journal - December 2009 - Black & Leighter Conclusion
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IJP2 - Volume 3, Issue 2 - December 2009

Special Issue "The Practice of Public Meetings"
Guest Editors:  Laura W. Black, James L. Leighter

Communicating Trust, Community, and Process in Public Meetings: A Reflection on How Close Attention to Communication can Contribute to the Future of Public Participation 
Laura W. Black, James L. Leighter, & John Gastil



Abstract. This concluding essay reflects on how the essays included in this special issue can help address some prevailing issues in public participation scholarship. We see three themes running through the contributions to this special issue that are particularly important for public participation scholars and practitioners to consider. These issues are: citizens’ distrust of public officials, concerns about who counts as a legitimate member of the community, and challenges related to the framing the process and goals of the meeting. In this concluding essay we summarize and reflect on the insights provided by the special issue contributions. We also look ahead to assess how these contributions can inform future public participation research and practice by illuminating the importance of communication practices and public meeting formats.

Keywords: communication, community, deliberation, participation process, public meetings, trust

Citation. Black, L. W., Leighter, J. L., & Gastil, J. (2009).  Communicating trust, community, and process in public meetings: A reflection on how close attention to communication can contribute to the future of public participation. International Journal of Public Participation, 3(2), 143-159.


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