Political Theory 37 (3):323-350 (2009)

Abstract
The pathologies of the democratic public sphere, first articulated by Plato in his attack on rhetoric, have pushed much of deliberative theory out of the mass public and into the study and design of small scale deliberative venues. The move away from the mass public can be seen in a growing split in deliberative theory between theories of democratic deliberation (on the ascendancy) which focus on discrete deliberative initiatives within democracies and theories of deliberative democracy (on the decline) that attempt to tackle the large questions of how the public, or civil society in general, relates to the state. Using rhetoric as the lens through which to view mass democracy, this essay argues that the key to understanding the deliberative potential of the mass public is in the distinction between deliberative and plebiscitary rhetoric.
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DOI 10.1177/0090591709332336
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Plato's Arguments and the Dialogue Form.Michael Frede - 1992 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy:201-219.

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