First talk, then vote

Robert E. Goodin

in Innovating Democracy

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780199547944
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191720116 | DOI:
First talk, then vote

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Deliberative democrats offer ‘talk as a decision procedure’. This chapter argues that it is a good ‘discovery procedure’, particularly because of the way it expands the agenda; but talk is a flawed ‘decision procedure’ because ‘path dependency’ can render its outcomes indeterminate or arbitrary. A risk of path dependency is inevitable, insofar as talk is a serial process with dynamic updating, as deliberative democrats want it to be. The best way to capture the benefits of ‘talk as a discovery procedure’, while avoiding the risks of ‘talk as a decision procedure’, is to adopt the rule: ‘first talk, then vote’.

Keywords: deliberative democracy; path dependency; discovery procedure; agenda; serial process

Chapter.  7213 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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