Skip to main content

How People Deliberate about Justice: Groups, Gender, and Decision Rules

  • Chapter
Deliberation, Participation and Democracy

Abstract

In recent years, theorists, observers and policy makers have increasingly promoted citizen deliberation. Yet little is known about how people deliberate about matters of politics. In this paper we ask how people deliberate about distributive justice, and in particular, about a guaranteed minimum income to the poor. If the proponents of deliberation are correct, deliberation is likely to enhance distributive justice and will lead people to grant a decent minimum income to the poor. But what actually happens when people deliberate about distributive justice? We make use of experimental data matched with discussion transcripts. The data were gathered for a somewhat different purpose but can shed light on the question of what deliberation actually does when people use it to decide a matter of justice. We find that deliberation can work as expected, enhancing distributive justice — and creating a long list of other positive outcomes — but only under certain conditions. Those conditions are structured by the decision rule (majority rule or unanimous vote) and by gender composition. Rules and gender interact to shape the group’s social norms. When deliberation is not properly structured by rules and norms, it does not conform to the expectations of its proponents.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Copyright information

© 2007 Tali Mendelberg and Christopher Karpowitz

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Mendelberg, T., Karpowitz, C. (2007). How People Deliberate about Justice: Groups, Gender, and Decision Rules. In: Rosenberg, S.W. (eds) Deliberation, Participation and Democracy. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230591080_6

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics