Deliberative Politics Essays On Democracy And Disagreement

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The banner of deliberative democracy is attracting increasing numbers of supporters, in both the world's older and newer democracies. This effort to renew democratic politics is widely seen as a reaction to the dominance of liberal constitutionalism. But many questions surround this new project. What does deliberative democracy stand for? What difference would deliberativeThe banner of deliberative democracy is attracting increasing numbers of supporters, in both the world's older and newer democracies. This effort to renew democratic politics is widely seen as a reaction to the dominance of liberal constitutionalism. But many questions surround this new project. What does deliberative democracy stand for? What difference would deliberative practices make in the real world of political conflict and public policy design? What is the relationship between deliberative politics and liberal constitutional arrangements?
The 1996 publication of Amy Gutmann and Dennis F. Thompsons Democracy and Disagreement was a signal contribution to the ongoing debate over the role of moral deliberation in democratic politics. In Deliberative Politics an all-star cast of political, legal, and moral commentators seek to criticize, extend, or provide alternatives to Gutmann and Thompson's hopeful model of democratic deliberation. The essays discuss the value and limits of moral deliberation in politics, and take up practical policy issues such as abortion, affirmative action, and health care reform. Among the impressive rosterof contributors are Norman Daniels, Stanley Fish, William A. Galston, Jane Mansbridge, Cass R. Sunstein, Michael Walzer, and Iris Marion Young, and the editor of the volume, Stephen Macedo. The book concludes with a thoughtful response from Gutmann and Thompson to their esteemed critics.

This fine collection is essential reading for anyone who takes seriously the call for a more deliberative politics.
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Paperback, 304 pages

Published July 1st 1999 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1999)

Despite calls for greater deliberation among citizens on public policy, we have little information about how existing deliberation is structured or how well it works. We examine Connecticut's effort to put public deliberation to work in Medicaid policy-making. Findings from our participant-observation study and in-person interviews with 100 participants in this process suggest some important qualifications to literature on public deliberation. Greater inclusion of diverse social groups from the target population is important, but this should not replace the inclusion of professional advocates since the latter are often more willing than citizen representatives to challenge policy experts on technical issues. Incorporating public deliberation into the process at an early stage is ideal, but deliberation during the later stages of policymaking (including during implementation) can still produce useful results. Finally, the style and purpose of deliberation can shape the range of topics on the agenda, so it is important to understand how the structure of a deliberative forum can affect the style and purpose of deliberation.

The essence of democracy itself is now widely taken to be deliberation, as opposed to voting, interest aggregation, constitutional rights, or even self-government. (Dryzek 2000, 1).

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