Robust Deliberative Democracy

Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 28 (3-4):494-516 (2016)
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Abstract

Deliberative democracy aspires to secure political liberty by making citizens the authors of their laws. But how can it do this in the face of deep disagreement, not to mention imperfect knowledge and limited altruism? Deliberative democracy can secure political liberty by affording each citizen an equal position as a co-author of public laws and norms. Moreover, fundamental deliberative democracy—in which institutional design is ultimately accountable to public deliberation but not necessarily subject to its direct control—does not strain knowledge or altruism. Thus, there is a place for deliberative democracy in a robust political economy.

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Daniel Layman
Davidson College

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