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date: 04 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter raises three sorts of questions about the much-vaunted concept and practice of “deliberative democracy.” It asks, normatively, whether this form of governance is more desirable than, say “representative democracy.” Theoretically, it asks whether the small-group discussions that it implies are adequately theorized as part of a larger system of decision-making involving political parties, public opinion, parliaments, etc. Questioning the viability of some of the basic assumptions implicit in citizen deliberation, a partial review of relevant empirical research provides both positive and negative answers.

Keywords: political talk, disagreement, deliberative democracy, representative democracy, deliberation, democracy, government

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