, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 175-186
Date: 24 Jun 2011

Motivating Reflective Citizens: Deliberative Democracy and the Internal Deliberative Virtues

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Introduction

Deliberative democracy involves the consideration and justification of the various reasons on which we base political decisions.

See Jurgen Habermas, Between Facts and Norms (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996); see also John Rawls, Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993).

It is a political framework by which citizens can discuss their beliefs and values and through deliberation find common ground on the important issues which they face as a community. Motivating citizens to reason deliberatively is, therefore, extremely important. Unless citizens want to engage with ideas and beliefs, and to use their cognitive skills wisely, there is little chance of this model of politics succeeding. In order to encourage engagement of this kind, deliberative democracy relies upon several virtues to encourage and guide the involvement of citizens.

There are two distinct types of virtue which are of value to the deliberative process. The first and most commonly discu ...