Editorial

in Democratic Theory
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  • 1 Australian Catholic University Mark.Chou@acu.edu.au
  • 2 University of Canberra Jean-Paul.Gagnon@canberra.edu.au

This issue of Democratic Theory begins with the article by Monique Deveaux that examines the obstacles to deliberative inclusion, especially with regard to women. In this critical analysis of the potential of deliberative procedures and institutions, Deveaux analyzes land reform in post-apartheid South Africa and suggests strategies for deliberative democrats to redress the conventional exclusion of subordinated members of society. In our second article, Filimon Peonidis explores a rather topical question: should democracies jettison “one person, one vote” in favor of the ancient practice of sortition? For Peonidis, despite certain benefits, the answer must be no. As he argues, however appealing, the idea of sortition in the final analysis runs counter to the rule of the people as members participating in self-rule. Avery Poole authors the final research article in this issue, which explores why the concept of democracy has become standard reference within ASEAN. As she notes, while references to democracy by ASEAN member-states have traditionally been off-limits, more recent pronouncements have encouraged the promotion and strengthening of democracy within the region. Her article explores the political motivations and the conceptions of democracy at play.

The issue then features a book symposium that critically engages Carol Gould’s Interactive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice (2014). The symposium features four interlocutors: Nancy Love, Sanford Schram, Luis Cabrera, and Anthony Langlois, as well as a substantive reply by Gould. Selen Ercan then interviews Albert Dzur. Together they discuss what democratic theorists can learn from democratic professionals. Dzur’s work has been defined by his argument that democratic professionals within the context of the school, government, and even within the prison can open space for real change. Rather than ignoring these policy innovations, democratic theorists should be looking to these real world engagements for inspiration. Finally, this issue ends with a critical commentary by Octavia Bryant and Mark Chou on whether China’s New Silk Road constitutes autocracy promotion. Bryant and Chou question the geopolitical reality along, and beyond, China’s western reaches.

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Democratic Theory

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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