Sunday, October 11, 2009

Two papers on deliberative democracy

Two recent papers on deliberative democracy from John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University:

(1) Who Wants to Deliberate – and Why?

by Michael A. Neblo, Kevin M. Esterling, Ryan P. Kennedy, David Lazer & Anand E. Sokhey

Interest in deliberative theories of democracy has grown tremendously among political theorists over the last twenty years. Many scholars in political behavior, however, are skeptical that it is a practically viable theory, even on its own terms. They argue (inter alia) that most people dislike politics, and that deliberative initiatives would amount to a paternalistic imposition. Using two large, representative samples investigating people’s hypothetical willingness to deliberate and their actual behavior in response to a real invitation to deliberate with their member of Congress, we find: 1) that willingness to deliberate in the U.S. is much more widespread than expected; and 2) that it is precisely people who are less likely to participate in traditional partisan politics who are most interested in deliberative participation. They are attracted to such participation as a partial alternative to “politics as usual.”

(2) Deliberative and Non-deliberative Negotiations

by Jane Mansbridge

The classic statements of deliberative democratic theory defined deliberation in opposition to negotiation. As deliberative theory has developed, that opposition has weakened. The normative terms of that relation, however, are as yet unclear. Building on work reformulating the regulative ideals for deliberative democracy (Mansbridge et al.* forthcoming), this paper argues that four previously excluded forms of agreement are themselves “deliberative.” One is simple convergence on an outcome. The other three -- incompletely theorized agreements, integrative negotiation, and fully cooperative distributive negotiation -- are forms of deliberative negotiation. The “regulative ideals” of these forms of negotiation, that is, the standards to which we should aspire in their practice even when full achievement is impossible, meet all the criteria for deliberation. This paper aims at reformulating the regulative ideal of deliberative democracy to incorporate these forms of agreement.

*Mansbridge, Jane, with James Bohman, Simone Chambers, David Estlund, Andreas Follesdal, Archon Fung, Cristina Lafont, Bernard Manin, and José Luis Martí. Forthcoming. “The Place of Self-Interest in Deliberation.” The Journal of Political Philosophy.

No comments: