Thinking constitutionally: The problem of deliberative democracy

Social Philosophy and Policy 21 (1):39-75 (2004)
  Copy   BIBTEX


A variety of arguments have been advanced that deliberation should be at the center of any good political regime in which there is popular self-government. Deliberation is to be the basis for lawmaking, that is, for the making of the collectivity's binding decisions. Thus, John Rawls says, “[O]f course, actual constitutions should be designed as far as possible to make the same determinations as the ideal legislative procedure.” This procedure, in turn, is defined as having laws that result from “rational legislators … who are conscientious, trying to follow the principles of justice as their standard.” These legislators “are not to take a narrow or group-interested standpoint.” Joshua Cohen broadly agrees with Rawls and characterizes Rawls's view as one that argues for a democratic politics that is built around public deliberation. Cohen says that “an ideal pluralist scheme, in which democratic politics consists of fair bargaining among groups each of which pursues its particular or sectional interest, is unsuited to a just society.” John Dryzek shares these views and comments that the “essence of democratic legitimacy should be sought … in the ability of all individuals subject to a collective decision to engage in authentic deliberation about that decision.” Others have argued along similar lines, including James Bohman, Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson, David Gauthier, and Jurgen Habermas



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,101

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

37 (#317,251)

6 months
1 (#447,139)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Stakeholder democracy: challenges and contributions from social accounting.Brendan O'Dwyer - 2005 - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 14 (1):28-41.
Egoism and Others.Merlin Jetton - 2018 - Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 18 (1):84-97.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references