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Reflecting on Fifty Years of Democratic Theory

Carole Pateman in Conversation with Graham Smith

Carole Pateman and Graham Smith

Carole Pateman reflects on her fifty years of scholarship in conversation with Graham Smith. The discussion focuses particular attention on Pateman’s work on participatory democracy and considers her contributions to debates on political obligation, feminism, basic income, and deliberative democracy.

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Jean-Paul Gagnon and Mark Chou

This general issue of Democratic Theory begins with an important contribution by George Vasilev (La Trobe University) that reflects on Chantal Mouffe’s notion of democratic agonism. Mouffe has, primarily as part of her critique of deliberative democracy, asserted that consensus necessarily creates exclusion. What is important is that democratic dialogue remains open-ended. For her this means that democrats should view themselves as adversaries rather than antagonists who bring discussions to a close. Vasilev critiques Mouffe’s assertion by arguing that she holds a one-sided understanding of consensus that creates a less credible form of adversarial politics. By crafting a “norm of consensus”, Vasilev thus demonstrates that consensus formation can ensure the very condition of democratic freedom itself. In doing this, Vasilev’s argument brings a fresh perspective to ongoing debates in deliberative and agonistic democracy.

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Resist and Revivify

Democratic Theory in a Time of Defiance

Jean-Paul Gagnon and Emily Beausoleil

.4324/9781315764313 Parkinson , John . 2001 . “ Deliberative Democracy and Referendums. ” Pp. 131 – 152 in Challenges to Democracy: Ideas, Involvement and Institutions , ed. Keith M. Dowding , Jim Hughes , and Helen Margetts . Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan

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Louise Haagh

-spot she identifies in theories of deliberative democracy, one which affects women especially ( Pateman and Smith 2019: 116–117 ). I would add that when public institutions and norms that protect corrode, proposing either redistribution or participation as