The Foundations of Deliberative Democracy: Empirical Research and Normative Implications

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2012)

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Abstract
Deliberative democracy is now an influential approach to the study of democracy and political behaviour. Its key proposition is that, in politics, it is not only power that counts, but good discussions and arguments too. This book examines the interplay between the normative and empirical aspects of the deliberative model of democracy. Jürg Steiner presents the main normative controversies in the literature on deliberation, including self-interest, civility and truthfulness. He then summarizes the empirical literature on deliberation and proposes methods by which the level of deliberation can be measured rather than just assumed. Steiner's empirical research is based in the work of various research groups, including experiments with ordinary citizens in the deeply divided societies of Colombia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belgium, as well as Finland and the European Union. Steiner draws normative implications from a combination of both normative controversies and empirical findings.
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