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Despite the fact that the dominant forms of political rhetoric tend to either alienate citizens from public life or draw them out in combative and unproductive ways, our experience tells us that given the proper conditions citizens are both able and eager to engage issues across boundaries and come to thoughtful judgments about even the most vexing problems. The research summarized in this article was conducted in order to gain a deeper understanding of one key element of these proper conditions: framing issues for deliberation.