This article analyzes contemporary democracies from a deliberative democratic standpoint and focuses on the connection between public and empowered spaces. The idea of deliberative systems and the concept of “transmission” are introduced to discuss the ways in which the public is able to affect the empowered spaces. While elections perform important democratic functions, alone they cannot provide a good quality means for connecting deliberation in the public to that of actors in the empowered space. The problem with transmission is exacerbated to the extent that alternative forms of participation are neglected. The limited ability of the public to affect the empowered space in deliberative and democratic ways contributes to the crisis of democratic systems. One solution to this problem is to acknowledge the role of citizens' deliberation. The article argues for the systematic introduction of spaces for citizens' deliberation that would parallel existing decision-making.
Pluralizing the Debate
Normative democratic theory with a focus on civic engagement is increasingly interested in how participatory instances connect into democratic systems (Dean, Rinne, et al. 2019; Elstub et al. 2018). The deliberative perspective has pioneered this debate and proposes a systemic view that observes how everyday talk and media discourses connect deliberative forums including parliaments, mini-publics, and protest formations (Mansbridge 1999; Mansbridge et al. 2012). While various approaches within the deliberative systems debate can be differentiated (Owen and Smith 2015), they commonly understand deliberative qualities as distributed within a broader system and focus on scaling up democratic deliberation through the transmission from the public to state institutions (Chambers 2012; Dryzek 2009).
Seven Conceptual Building Blocks
Rikki Dean, Jonathan Rinne, and Brigitte Geissel
primarily focused upon how systems stabilize and functionally reproduce themselves ( Luhmann 1995 ; Parsons 1937 , 1991 ), deliberative systems theory imagines how the interconnected, interacting parts realize a set of functions informed by deliberative
The Role of Framing and Emotions
Are televised election debates (TEDs) a blessing for democracy, educating citizens and informing them of their electoral options? Or should they be viewed as a curse, presenting superficial, manipulating rhetoric in one-way communication? In this article, I evaluate TEDs from a deliberative point of view, focusing on the potential positive and negative outcomes of framing by politicians, as well as on the pros and cons of displaying emotions in debates. I argue that the use of these two rhetorical devices in TEDs is potentially helpful in inspiring deliberation, perspective-taking and subsequent reflection in both politicians and voters. This leads me to conclude that televised election debates should be critically approached as communicative venues with potential deliberative qualities.
The Role of the Judiciary in a Deliberative System
Donald Bello Hutt
, notwithstanding the fact that deliberative systems provide room for the judiciary, that room is not enough as to grant courts the final word in the determination of constitutional meaning. We lack analyses of the judiciary after the systemic turn in deliberative
Daniele Santoro and Joseph Lacey
Alessandro Ferrara, The Democratic Horizon: Hyperpluralism and the Renewal of Political Liberalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 251 pp., ISBN: 9781107035515
Jane Mansbridge and John Parkinson, eds., Deliberative Systems: Deliberative Democracy at the Large Scale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 204 pp., ISBN: 9781107678910
Stephen Elstub and Jean-Paul Gagnon
Editors' introduction to the interview: Stephen Elstub articulates that deliberative democracy, as a theory, can be seen as having gone through various distinct generations. The first generation was a period where the normative values and the justifications for deliberative democracy were set out. This prompted criticism from difference democrats who saw the exclusion of other forms of communication by the reification of reason in deliberation as a serious shortcoming of the theory. This in part prompted the growth of the second generation of deliberative democracy, which began to focus more on the theory's operability. These theorizations, from the mostly 1990s and early 2000s, have led to the third generation of the theory—one embodied by the empirical turn. Elstub uses this genealogy as a foundation from which to argue that the current focus of deliberative democracy is on implementing deliberative systems rather than only deliberative institutions and this could potentially represent a fourth generation of deliberative democracy.
Procedure and Substance in Direct Democracy
- or low deliberative character and proposes to include them in deliberative systems as “necessary evils,” which can trigger quality deliberations in other parts of the system or link micro- and macrolevel deliberative spaces (see, e.g., Curato and
Taking Stock and Looking Ahead - Selen A. Ercan with André Bächtiger
Selen A. Ercan and André Bächtiger
sketch out first ideas in our book. And we have a lot to say on how we should evaluate the quality of deliberative systems… Ercan: Thank you for these valuable insights on both books. They both seem to advance and celebrate the field of deliberative
From Consociationalism to Deliberation?
, again, trying to avoid a polarization effect). This multiplicity of deliberative spaces would create a deliberative system ( Mansbridge et al. 2012 ) that could generate a structure of checks and balances between the several layers of deliberation and