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References Related articles 0. Figures 0. Information related to the author. This article compares instruments designed to measure deliberation in judicial and non-judicial settings. From this appraisal, I conclude, first, that an examination of the literature on deliberation measurement brings to light several problems in the process of translating ideal deliberative theory into empirical evaluative schemes.
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Third, I argue that these two problems combined entail that idealizations of the courtroom as the forum in which ideal aspects of deliberative democracy are instantiated, are misguided, and should be avoided. Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.
Twelve Key Findings in Deliberative Democracy Research | American Academy of Arts and Sciences
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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. Deliberative democracy is not just the area of contention that its standing as a normative political theory would suggest. It is also home to a large volume of empirical social science research that, at its best, proceeds in dialogue with the normative theory. Indeed, the field is exemplary in this combination of political theory and empirical research. Deliberative ideas have also attracted the attention of citizens, activists, reform organizations, and decision-makers around the world.
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The practical uptake of deliberative ideas in political innovation provides a rich source of lessons from experience that can be added to theorizing and social science. This combination has proven extremely fruitful. Rather than proving or falsifying key hypotheses, deliberative practice has sharpened the focus of the normative project, showing how it can be applied in many different contexts.
We believe that conceptual analysis, logic, empirical study, normative theorizing, and the refinement of deliberative practice have set at least some controversies to rest, and we provide the following set of twelve key findings that can be used as the basis for further developments. D eliber ative democracy is realistic. Skeptics have questioned the practical viability of deliberative democracy: its ideals have been criticized as utopian and its forums have been dismissed as mere experiments, with no hope of being institutionalized effectively. But skeptics have been proved wrong by the many and diverse deliberative innovations that have been implemented in a variety of political systems.
The recent turn toward deliberative systems demonstrates that deliberative democratic ideals can be pursued on a large scale in ways that link particular forums and more informal practices, such as communication in old and new media. Deliberation is essential to democracy. Social choice theory appears to demonstrate that democratic politics must be plagued by arbitrariness and instability in collective decision. Notably, for political scientist William Riker, clever politicians can manipulate agendas and the order in which votes are taken to ensure their preferred option wins.
And in that case, there can be no stable will of the people that can possibly be revealed by voting in, say, a legislature.
Introduction: Substituting problem-oriented for government-centered policy design
So, how can meaning and stability be restored to democracy? There are essentially two mechanisms, once dictatorship is ruled out. This result explains why all democratic settings, in practice, feature some combination of communication, which can be more or less deliberative, and formal and informal rules. The more deliberative the communication, the better democracy works. Democracy must be deliberative. Deliberation is more than discussion. Deliberative democracy is talk-centric.
But talk alone can be pathological, producing wildly mixed results from an ideal deliberative perspective. Empirical observation reveals that deliberation is more complex than originally theorized, involving both dispositional and procedural components. The purely procedural rationalist model of deliberation is normatively problematic because it is empirically questionable.
Deliberative democracy involves multiple sorts of communication. Some democrats have charged deliberative democracy with being overly rationalistic. 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. 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.
The increasing attention paid to deliberative cultures is also part of this trajectory, in which systems of meanings and norms in diverse cultural contexts are unpacked to understand the different ways political agents take part in deliberative politics.
Heuristics for practitioners of policy design: Rules-of-thumb for structuring unstructured problems
Deliberation is for all. The charge of elitism was one of the earliest criticisms of deliberative democratic theory: that only privileged, educated citizens have access to the language and procedures of deliberation. 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. Political scientists James Druckman and Kjersten Nelson have shown how citizen conversations can vitiate the influence of elite framing. Deliberative democracy has a nuanced view of power.
Empowering or generative forms of power are central to the communicative force of deliberative governance. Deliberative democrats recognize that coercive power pervades social relations, but understand that certain kinds of power are needed to maintain order in a deliberative process, to address inequalities, and to implement decisions. Productive deliberation is plural, not consensual.
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