deliberative democracy

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A critical response to traditional models of democracy. Although deliberative democracy encompasses a broad spectrum of ideas, the motivational aim of deliberative theory is to legitimize political decisions by creating procedures that allow democratic decisions to be a result of mutual understanding, publicly expressed reason, and broadened political inclusion. This position is contrasted with democratic models that have traditionally relied on ideas of competing elites, vote aggregation, and private interest maximization. Whereas traditional models focus on aggregative outcomes (by elites or individuals), deliberative theory focuses on broadening the deliberative input from all participants, on creating a sense of public reason, and on creating procedures that can be seen as acceptable by all stakeholders involved. By doing so, deliberative democrats seek to transform current systems of governance, which are often associated with social exclusion, power asymmetries, and mutual distrust. Deliberative theorists maintain that political decisions are best created (and thus can be seen as more legitimate) through a process of public reason formation, which will decrease the democratic deficits that are currently experienced in most democracies.


Subjects: Politics.

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