Deliberative Democracy Essays Reason

So, how can meaning and stability be restored to democracy?There are essentially two mechanisms, once dictatorship is ruled out.

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By this measure, deliberative democracy is very successful indeed.

Yet if the normative project is to progress and be applied effectively in practice, it needs to lay some issues to rest.

A similar kind of critique has been raised by political theorist Chantal Mouffe, who criticizes deliberative democrats for missing the crucial role that passion plays in politics and for emphasizing the rationalism of liberal democratic political thought.

Deliberative democrats have responded by foregrounding the varied articulations of reason-giving and consensus requirements of deliberation.

Some democrats have charged deliberative democracy with being overly rationalistic.

For political scientist Lynn Sanders, deliberation works undemocratically for it excludes “those who are less likely to present their arguments in ways that we recognize as characteristically deliberative.” Sanders refers to women, racial minorities, and the poor, whose speech cultures depart from “rationalist” forms of discourse that privilege dispassionate argumentation, logical coherence, and evidence-based claims as practiced in the most exclusive kinds of scholarly debates, parliamentary procedures, and judicial argumentation.However, empirical research has established the inclusive, rather than elitist, character of deliberative democracy.Findings in deliberative experiments suggest that deliberation can temper rather than reinforce elite power.Nicole Curato is Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Fellow at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra, Australia. And political theorists make a living in large part by disagreeing with and criticizing each other.In fact, it is possible to evaluate the success of a political theory by the number of critics it attracts, and the vitality of its intramural disputes.Most have acknowledged political philosopher Iris Young’s conception of “communicative democracy” and have conditionally embraced greeting, rhetoric, humor, testimonies, storytelling, and other sorts of communication.Even the originally somewhat rationalistic criteria of the widely used Discourse Quality Index have evolved to include storytelling as one indicator, recognizing the importance of personal narratives in political claim-making.Recent developments in deliberative theory have begun to recognize the plurality of speech cultures.The turn to deliberative systems has emphasized multiple sites of communication, each of which can host various forms of speech that can enrich the inclusive character of a deliberative system.Deliberative democracy is a normative project grounded in political theory; but it is also home to a large volume of empirical social science research.So what have we learned about deliberative democracy, its value, and its weaknesses?

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