In software engineering, the re-use concept is a design principle that improves efficency, quality and maintainability by ensuring that software artifacts are developed once and re-used may times. In an analogous way, a group's reasoning can be imagined to be re-used by that or another group to enhance efficiency, transparency and consistency in decison-making. However, the re-use of reasoning is difficult to achieve because group reasoning cannot easily be captured and the way in which a group reasoning artifact is subsequently used is not obvious. This chapter explores the case for the re-use of community reasoning and concludes that individuals can benefit from a representation of a previous groups's coalesced reasoning to be modeled and the scheme to represent the reasoning have been selected to suit the task. The authors contend that specifying the future community like to re-use the reasoning, called the intended audience, informs a decision regarding whether an exercise aimed at coalescing a group's reasoning is best performed verbally, in writing or with the use of more structured schemes such as Argument visualization.
This chapter describes some of the current approaches to delibertative democracy and the considers them from the perspective of a reasoning community framework. This approach highlights important tasks, process and structures that can be used to enhance the process of groups engaging in deliberative democracy approaches. In particular it focuses attention on the potential for technologies to support groups in achieving broad agreed structured reasoning bases that capture the scope of an issue from multiple perspectives.