We are currently undergoing maintainence, please come back soon. Deliberative democracy or discursive democracy is a form topics for discursive essays democracy in which deliberation is central to decision-making.
While deliberative democracy is generally seen as some form of an amalgam of representative democracy and direct democracy, the actual relationship is usually open to dispute. The term “deliberative democracy” was originally coined by Joseph M. Bessette in his 1980 work Deliberative Democracy: The Majority Principle in Republican Government. Deliberative democracy holds that, for a democratic decision to be legitimate, it must be preceded by authentic deliberation, not merely the aggregation of preferences that occurs in voting. Authentic deliberation is deliberation among decision-makers that is free from distortions of unequal political power, such as power a decision-maker obtained through economic wealth or the support of interest groups. German philosopher Jürgen Habermas’ work on communicative rationality and the public sphere is often identified as a major work in this area.
Deliberative democracy can be practiced by decision-makers in both representative democracies and direct democracies. In Fishkin’s definition of deliberative democracy, lay citizens must participate in the decision-making process, thus making it a subtype of direct democracy. Arguments should be supported by appropriate and reasonably accurate factual claims. Arguments should be met by contrary arguments. The participants should be willing to talk and listen, with civility and respect.
Arguments should be considered sincerely on their merits, not on how they are made or by who is making them. All points of view held by significant portions of the population should receive attention. This section needs additional citations for verification. Joshua Cohen, a student of John Rawls, outlined conditions that he thinks constitute the root principles of the theory of deliberative democracy, in the article “Deliberation and Democratic Legitimacy” in the 1989 book The Good Polity. An ongoing independent association with expected continuation.
The citizens in the democracy structure their institutions such that deliberation is the deciding factor in the creation of the institutions and the institutions allow deliberation to continue. A commitment to the respect of a pluralism of values and aims within the polity. The citizens consider deliberative procedure as the source of legitimacy, and prefer the causal history of legitimation for each law to be transparent and easily traceable to the deliberative process. Each member recognizes and respects other members’ deliberative capacity. This can be construed as the idea that in the legislative process, we “owe” one another reasons for our proposals. It is free in two ways: The participants consider themselves bound solely by the results and preconditions of the deliberation.
They are free from any authority of prior norms or requirements. Parties to deliberation are required to state reasons for their proposals, and proposals are accepted or rejected based on the reasons given, as the content of the very deliberation taking place. Participants are equal in two ways: Formal: anyone can put forth proposals, criticize, and support measures. Substantive: The participants are not limited or bound by certain distributions of power, resources, or pre-existing norms. Deliberation aims at a rationally motivated consensus: it aims to find reasons acceptable to all who are committed to such a system of decision-making. When consensus or something near enough is not possible, majoritarian decision making is used. Thompson’s definition captures the elements that are found in most conceptions of deliberative democracy.
The reasons should be acceptable to free and equal persons seeking fair terms of cooperation. The reasons must be given in public and the content must be understandable to the relevant audience. The reason-giving process leads to a decision or law that is enforced for some period of time. The participants do not deliberate just for the sake of deliberation or for individual enlightenment. The participants must keep open the possibility of changing their minds, and continuing a reason-giving dialogue that can challenge previous decisions and laws. Scientific peer review, adversarial presentation of competing arguments, refereed journals, even betting markets, are also deliberative processes. The technology used to record dissent and document opinions opposed to the majority is also useful to notarize bets, predictions and claims.