Chapter

The Practice of Deliberation and the Hope for Democratic Renewal

in Talking Together

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780226389868
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226389899 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226389899.003.0008
The Practice of Deliberation and the Hope for Democratic Renewal

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Observers of America's towns and local cities report that they are seeing a “transformative shift” from expert rule to shared governance, from “elite-directed modes of participation and toward . . . publics . . . more active than ever in a wide range of elite-challenging forms of political participation.” These observers report that “communities are moving beyond the traditional assumptions that the role of government is provid[ing] services and the role of citizens is to pay taxes for those services.” But assessments of the health of American democracy can—like so much else about American politics—be divided into extremes. While the vitality of American democracy and civil life have been extolled, some observers also portray American citizens as driven from public life by political distrust and a sense that government does not care about them. This book has shown that discursive politics in general and public deliberation in particular are not infrequent and isolated phenomena, as some have previously assumed. On the contrary, discursive participation is extensive.

Keywords: political participation; public deliberation; discursive politics; democracy; discursive participation; public life

Chapter.  6309 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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