Realizing Deliberative Democracy: Strategies for Democratic Consultation
The central and continuing problem of democratic reform has been to build institutions that realize two fundamental democratic aspirations: inclusion and thoughtfulness. On the one hand, we need institutions that somehow represent or include all the members of a polity. On the other hand, we need to consult those members under conditions where they are effectively motivated to think about the power they are being asked to exercise. All over the world, democratic reforms bring power to the people through institutions that increasingly emphasize inclusiveness, but the very conditions that allow for more inclusion seem to have undermined collective thoughtfulness. This trade-off is not inevitable, though. Instead, it is due to the lack of institutional imagination that has guided most modern democratic reforms. This chapter is aimed at expanding the democratic toolkit of mechanisms for public consultation, showing that it is indeed possible to combine inclusiveness and thoughtfulness, rather than force us to choose between them.
KeywordsPublic Opinion Public Consultation Deliberative Democracy Small Group Discussion Quota Sampling
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