The Foundations of Deliberative Democracy

The Foundations of Deliberative Democracy : Empirical Research and Normative Implications

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Deliberative democracy is now an influential approach to the study of democracy and political behaviour. Its key proposition is that, in politics, it is not only power that counts, but good discussions and arguments too. This book examines the interplay between the normative and empirical aspects of the deliberative model of democracy. Jurg Steiner presents the main normative controversies in the literature on deliberation, including self-interest, civility and truthfulness. He then summarizes the empirical literature on deliberation and proposes methods by which the level of deliberation can be measured rather than just assumed. Steiner's empirical research is based in the work of various research groups, including experiments with ordinary citizens in the deeply divided societies of Colombia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belgium, as well as Finland and the European Union. Steiner draws normative implications from a combination of both normative controversies and empirical findings.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 b/w illus.
  • 1139057480
  • 9781139057486

Review quote

'This book reports on some of the most exciting work in democracy today. Its innovations will have an impact both on the profession and on practice. It is rare to find such a combination of normative sophistication, empirical innovation, and research organization ... the work on storytelling is exceptional.' Jane J. Mansbridge, Harvard University 'This is an interesting and valuable project that extends the work of Steiner et al., Deliberative Politics in Action. That marked an important evolution in the study of deliberative democracy by developing and applying a Discourse Quality Index to parliamentary debates in four countries. This book is even more ambitious; it uses deliberative democratic theory to identify about a dozen distinct theoretical issues, and then assembles the available empirical evidence to throw light on these issues.' Mark E. Warren, University of British Columbia
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Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Citizen participation in deliberation; 2. Rationality and stories in deliberative justification; 3. Common good and self-interest in deliberative justification; 4. Respect in deliberation; 5. Public openness of deliberation; 6. Force of better argument in deliberation; 7. Truthfulness in deliberation; 8. Deliberation in the media and the Internet; 9. Favorable conditions for deliberation; 10. Favorable consequences of deliberation; 11. The praxis of deliberation; Appendix: newest version of Discourse Quality Index (DQI).
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