Can deliberation neutralise power?

European Journal of Political Theory 17 (3):257-279 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Most democratic theorists agree that concentrations of wealth and power tend to distort the functioning of democracy and ought to be countered wherever possible. Deliberative democrats are no exception: though not its only potential value, the capacity of deliberation to ‘neutralise power’ is often regarded as ‘fundamental’ to deliberative theory. Power may be neutralised, according to many deliberative democrats, if citizens can be induced to commit more fully to the deliberative resolution of common problems. If they do, they will be unable to get away with inconsistencies and bad or private reasons, thereby mitigating the illegitimate influence of power. I argue, however, that the means by which power inflects political disagreement is far more subtle than this model suggests and cannot be countered so simply. As a wealth of recent research in political psychology demonstrates, human beings persistently exhibit ‘motivated reasoning’, meaning that even when we are sincerely committed to the deliberative...
Reprint years
2018
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BAGCDN-2
Upload history
Archival date: 2015-10-30
View other versions
Added to PP index
2015-10-21

Total views
318 ( #15,429 of 53,490 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
40 ( #16,476 of 53,490 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.