Can Democracy be Deliberative and Participatory? The Democratic Case for Political Uses of Mini-publics

Daedalus:85-105 (2017)
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This essay focuses on recent proposals to confer decisional status upon deliberative minipublics such as citizen juries, Deliberative Polls, citizen’s assemblies, and so forth. Against such proposals, I argue that inserting deliberative minipublics into political decision-making processes would diminish the democratic legitimacy of the political system as a whole. This negative conclusion invites a question: which political uses of minipublics would yield genuinely democratic improvements? Drawing from a participatory conception of deliberative democracy, I propose several uses of minipublics that could enhance the democratic legitimacy of political decision-making in current societies.
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Archival date: 2018-03-14
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