Deliberative democracy is widely associated with a public sphere that is more inclusive of cultural and religious minority groups than that established by a model of politics as interest aggregation. But it has also been criticized for stipulating unjust terms for this political inclusion, and for being insufficiently responsive to identity group-based claims. Such challenges have prompted much internal debate about the validity and the practical consequences of different norms and mechanisms of deliberative democracy. This chapter argues that models of public deliberation less beholden to Habermasian discourse ethics are able to offer a more promising response to these multicultural challenges.
In the scheme of history, most political deliberation has taken place outside the modern West. But the study of deliberation, however extensive it has become, has largely ignored this wider world. Examining how deliberation manifests across different societies has considerable promise for both explanatory and normative political theory. To explain why people deliberate—which should be among the first questions deliberative democrats ponder—it is first necessary to examine how people deliberate, and why this varies. Doing so with a comparative and historical perspective, even in the preliminary fashion presented here, reveals how social and political ideals can motivate and shape deliberative practice. And there are normative stakes in this agenda. If collective deliberation is to prevail in global governance, we must fashion political ideals which motivate diverse peoples to come together in discourse, rather than confront their problems, or compound them, by less desirable means.
Steven J. Brams
This article provides a review of the literature on fair division, which has flourished in recent years. It focuses on three different literatures in the field: the allocation of several indivisible goods, the division of a single heterogeneous good, and the division, in whole or in part, of several divisible goods. The article discusses problems that arise in allocating indivisible goods, and highlights the trade-offs that must be made when not all of the criteria of fairness can be satisfied at the same time. It also describes and provides the procedures for dividing divisible goods fairly, which is based on different criteria of fairness.
Indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination and self-government are recognized by several international instances. Deliberation plays a key role in the exercise of these rights, and its forms are as diverse as the cultures and social structures of which it is part. However, efforts to understand commonalities and differences between contexts and experiences have led to discussions of what Rodolfo Stavenhagen has termed the “indigenous situation.” This chapter looks at some ways in which self-identified Indigenous peoples have maintained, repurposed, and developed practices of political deliberation within such contexts of colonialism, nation-state formation, and capitalist expansion. A particular emphasis is put on the various scales at which deliberation takes place, be it in community life, regional organizations, or national and international political movements.
It has often been noted that the political claims of minorities and indigenous peoples are marginalized within traditional state-centric international political theory; but perhaps more surprisingly, they are also marginalized within much contemporary cosmopolitan political theory. In this chapter, I will argue that neither cosmopolitanism nor statism as currently theorized is well equipped to evaluate the normative claims at stake in many minority rights issues. I begin by discussing how the “minority question” arose as an issue within international relations—that is, why minorities have been seen as a problem and a threat to international order—and how international actors have historically attempted to contain the problem, often in ways that were deeply unjust to minorities. I will then consider recent efforts to advance a pro-minority agenda at the international level, and how this agenda helps reveal some of the limits of both cosmopolitan and statist approaches to IPT.
Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness has, since its publication, been a foundational text for scholars working at the intersection of race, culture, and political thought. This chapter identifies three themes that structure Gilroy’s expansive argument and make it enduring. First, Gilroy offers juxtaposing analyses of the role of roots and routes in the history of black trans-Atlantic culture. Second, it argues that Gilroy thinks that many scholars prize racial essentialism or authenticity over understanding the ways black culture has evolved over time in ways that have shaped and benefitted from modernity. Last, Gilroy seeks to reclaim a genuine appreciate of black culture as a major contribution to modernity as a means of resisting the problem of double-consciousness since this distracts from the appreciation and study of black culture to blacks acculturating themselves to social values that do not contribute to their social or political liberty.
By finding a way to incorporate people’s cultural attachment in a liberal framework, Will Kymlicka’s Multicultural Citizenship changed the way liberal political theorists look at identity. Kymlicka argued that culture, and in particular language, could not be a private matter as liberals assumed, since every state must pick one official language (or a small number of them). Yet official languages were unfair to those who spoke a different language; additionally Kymlicka argued that individual self-respect was an important liberal value, and was tied to a secure cultural context. Critics argued that culture was hard to define, and cultural attachments were much more malleable than Kymlicka suggested. While these criticisms did undermine the power of some of Kymlicka’s arguments, one of Kymlicka’s lasting contributions is the now widely accepted idea that certain kinds of identities cannot be assumed to be a private matter.