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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

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.

Keywords: deliberation, culture, ideals, comparative political theory, comparative historical sociology

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