One of the most remarkable developments in the last twenty years has been the revival of the idea of deliberative democracy. Set against aggregative models of democracy derived from economics, such as the theory of rational choice, the idea of deliberative democracy, or decision-making based on public deliberations among free and equal citizens, represents a highly significant development in democratic theory. Exploring this development, this book provides a fresh and original perspective on a theme at the center of current debates in democratic theory and practice. The essays collected in this volume offer a series of powerful arguments in support of the view that fair and equal treatment of groups is best defended on the basis of a theory of public deliberation. Such a theory has both a normative and institutional dimension.
Can we fix democracy through public deliberation? | The Political Studies Association (PSA)
Public Deliberation, simply defined, is the discussion and choice-making that is necessary before we can solve problems that affect our communities together. In other words, before we can choose where we want to build the road, we need to consider the various values and interests we have as people. We need to also consider the costs and the trade-offs we are willing to accept for our values. More broadly, public deliberation is the name we use to discuss the various models of communication which are designed to help citizens form their own political voice. In fact, many public deliberation "approaches" have been developed and researched. Regardless of the specific approach taken, public deliberation holds certain distinguishing characteristics. Public deliberation is not just about experts.
Deliberative democracy , school of thought in political theory that claims that political decisions should be the product of fair and reasonable discussion and debate among citizens. In deliberation, citizens exchange arguments and consider different claims that are designed to secure the public good. Through this conversation, citizens can come to an agreement about what procedure, action, or policy will best produce the public good. Deliberation is a necessary precondition for the legitimacy of democratic political decisions.
On a chilly autumn day, a group of 56 randomly selected citizens met to discuss how to address climate and energy issues in their city. These 56 strangers would participate in six days of information session with experts, exercises to identify their own values, and small group discussions about proposed policies. They met for six Saturdays ending in December at which point they voted on policy recommendations that would form the basis of a full report on how the City should address energy and climate issues. The process described is an intense form of consultation — a public deliberation. Governments across the globe are experimenting with these types of public deliberation exercises.