Wednesday, August 01, 2012

New book: The Foundations of Deliberative Democracy

The Foundations of Deliberative Democracy
Empirical Research and Normative Implications

by Jürg Steiner

(Cambridge University Press, 2012)

288 pages



Deliberative democracy is now an influential approach to the study of democracy and political behaviour. Its key proposition is that, in politics, it is not only power that counts, but good discussions and arguments too. This book examines the interplay between the normative and empirical aspects of the deliberative model of democracy. Jürg Steiner presents the main normative controversies in the literature on deliberation, including self-interest, civility and truthfulness. He then summarizes the empirical literature on deliberation and proposes methods by which the level of deliberation can be measured rather than just assumed. Steiner's empirical research is based in the work of various research groups, including experiments with ordinary citizens in the deeply divided societies of Colombia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belgium, as well as Finland and the European Union. Steiner draws normative implications from a combination of both normative controversies and empirical findings.

Contents [Preview]


1. Citizen Participation in Deliberation
2. Rationality and Stories in Deliberative Justification
3. Common Good and Self-interest in Deliberative Justification
4. Respect in Deliberation
5. Public Openness of Deliberation
6. Force of Better Argument in Deliberation
7. Truthfulness in Deliberation [paper]
8. Deliberation in the Media and the Internet
9. Favorable Conditions for Deliberation
10. Favorable Consequences of Deliberation
11. The Praxis of Deliberation

Appendix: Newest Version of Discourse Quality Index (DQI).

Jürg Steiner is Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is co-editor of "Deliberative Politics in Action: Analyzing Parliamentary Discourse" (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Two papers on measuring deliberation:

* "Measuring Political Deliberation: A Discourse Quality Index" [2003, pdf] by Marco Steenberger, André Bächtiger, Markus Spörndli, and Jürg Steiner.

* "Measuring Deliberation 2.0" [2009, pdf] by André Bächtiger, Susumu Shikano, Seraina Pedrini, and Mirjam Ryser.

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