Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (6):633-657 (2020)

Kevin Vallier
Bowling Green State University
Democratic theorists have proposed a number of competing justifications for democratic order, but no theory has achieved a consensus. While expecting consensus may be unrealistic, I nonetheless contend that we can make progress in justifying democratic order by applying competing democratic theories to different stages of the democratic process. In particular, I argue that the selection of political officials should be governed in accord with aggregative democracy. This process should prize widespread participation, political equality, and proper preference aggregation. I then argue that the selection of public policies by political officials should be governed in accord with deliberative democracy. This process should prize high quality deliberation and political equality. A process democracy is a democracy that joins an aggregative process for selecting officials with a deliberative process for selecting policies. Democracy is justified and legitimate when it is structured in this way.
Keywords democratic theory  democracy  democratic legitimacy  deliberative democracy  aggregative democracy  agonism  political legitimacy
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DOI 10.1163/17455243-20203026
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