Against Anti-Democratic Shortcuts: A Few Replies to Critics

Cristina Lafont*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this essay I address several questions and challenges brought about by the contributors to the special issue on my book Democracy without Shortcuts. In particular, I address some implications of my critique of deep pluralism; distinguish between three senses of ‘blind deference’: political, reflective, and informational; draw a critical parallelism between the populist conception of representation as ‘embodiment’ and the conception of ‘citizen-representatives’ often ascribed to participants in deliberative minipublics; defend the democratic attractiveness of participatory uses over empowered uses of deliberative minipublics; clarify why accepting public reason constraints does not imply limiting deliberation to questions about constitutional rights; and argue that overcoming a state-centric conception of democracy does not require replacing the ‘all subjected’ principle with the ‘all affected’ principle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-109
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Deliberative Democracy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • citizenry
  • deference
  • deliberation
  • deliberative democracy
  • democratic legitimacy
  • minipublics
  • public
  • representation
  • values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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