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Is deliberative democracy feasible? Political disengagement and trust in liberal democratic states.

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journal contribution
posted on 26.06.2015 by Phil Parvin
Liberal democratic states throughout the world are experiencing declining rates of political participation and trust among their citizens. Many political theorists have argued that deliberative democracy offers hope. Deliberative democracy, they argue, is a distinctive conception of democracy which improves upon traditional aggregative or majoritarian approaches by providing a more inclusive space in which citizens can collectively deliberate on political decisions. I argue, however, that the deliberative model presupposes and requires widespread participation and trust which it is incapable of ensuring. The more normative weight that is placed upon the need for inclusive deliberation among citizens, the less politically feasible deliberative democracy becomes as a strategy for the reform of liberal democratic states experiencing declines in trust and participation. I therefore argue that deliberative democrats are faced with a choice: they can afford central weight to the idea of deliberation and thus render their theories unfeasible as a strategy for democratic reform, or they can downplay the importance of deliberation in their theories and thus minimise the distinctiveness of deliberative democracy.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

The Monist

Citation

PARVIN, P., 2015. Is deliberative democracy feasible? Political disengagement and trust in liberal democratic states. The Monist, 9(4), pp.407-423

Publisher

© Oxford University Press/ Published on behalf of the Hegeler Institute

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015

Notes

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in The Monist following peer review. The version of record PARVIN, P., 2015. Is deliberative democracy feasible? Political disengagement and trust in liberal democratic states. The Monist, 9(4), pp.407-423 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/monist/onv021

ISSN

0026-9662

Language

en

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