The Dewey-Lippmann debate today: Communication distortions, reflective agency, and participatory democracy
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Sociological Theory 23 (2):156-178 (2005)
In this article, I introduce the Dewey-Lippmann democracy debate of the 1920s as a vehicle for considering how social theory can enhance the empirical viability of participatory democratic theory within the current context of advanced capitalism. I situate within this broad theoretical framework the theories of Habermas and Dewey. In the process, I argue (a) that while Dewey largely failed to reconcile his democratic ideal with the empirical constraint of large-scale organizations, Habermas, in particular his work on the public sphere, provides an important starting point for considering the state of public participation within the communication distortions of advanced capitalism; (b) that to fully understand the relation between communication distortions and public participation, social theorists must look beyond Habermas and return to Dewey to mobilize his bi-level view of habitual and reflective human agency; and, finally, (c) that the perspective of a Deweyan political theory of reflective agency best furthers our understanding of potential communication distortions and public participation, particularly in the empirical spaces of media centralization and intellectual property rights
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References found in this work BETA
G. H. Mead (forthcoming). Mind, Self and Society. Chicago, Il.
Jürgen Habermas (1984). The Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 1, 'Reason and the Rationalization of Society'. Polity..
Ernesto Laclau (2001/2014). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. Verso.
Chantal Mouffe (2002). The Democratic Paradox. Political Theory 30 (6):862-864.
Seyla Benhabib (ed.) (1996). Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Paul B. Thompson (2012). The Agricultural Ethics of Biofuels: Climate Ethics and Mitigation Arguments. Poiesis and Praxis 8 (4):169-189.
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