In the latest issue of "Journal of Political Philosophy" (vol. 18 no. 1, 2010, pp. 64-100) professor Jane Mansbridge (Harvard University) and a "dream team" of co-authors have written an important contribution to the theory of deliberative democracy:
"The Place of Self-Interest and the Role of Power in Deliberative Democracy"
by Jane Mansbridge, James Bohman, Simone Chambers, David Estlund, Andreas Føllesdal, Archon Fung, Cristina Lafont, Bernard Manin, and José luis Martí.
Excerpt from the conclusion:
"Deliberative democratic theory continues to “come of age.” In this contribution to its development, we assume that deliberation should clarify conflict as well as help participants to discover and forge common interests. Although we want to stress the importance of seeking a genuinely common good, we argue that deliberation can and should in certain conditions include both self-interest and the negotiation of conflicting interests. Convergence, incompletely theorized agreements, integrative negotiation, and fully cooperative negotiations are compatible with deliberative ideals. They are forms of deliberative negotiation. Voting and the negotiation of cooperative antagonists are not themselves deliberative acts but, when they are justified through deliberative procedures and preceded in practice by such procedures, can be accepted by deliberative theorists as legitimate components of democracy complementary to and in some cases integrated with deliberation."
See also Jane Mansbridge's paper on "Deliberative and Non-deliberative Negotiations" (April 2009) here.