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.
Seven Conceptual Building Blocks
Rikki Dean, Jonathan Rinne, and Brigitte Geissel
The notion that democracy is a system is ever present in democratic theory. However, what it means to think systemically about democracy (as opposed to what it means for a political system to be democratic) is under-elaborated. This article sets out a meta-level framework for thinking systemically about democracy, built upon seven conceptual building blocks, which we term (1) functions, (2) norms, (3) practices, (4) actors, (5) arenas, (6) levels, and (7) interactions. This enables us to systematically structure the debate on democratic systems, highlighting the commonalities and differences between systems approaches, their omissions, and the key questions that remain to be answered. It also enables us to push the debate forward both by demonstrating how a full consideration of all seven building blocks would address issues with existing approaches and by introducing new conceptual clarifications within those building blocks.
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