Can democracy be deliberative & participatory? The democratic case for political uses of mini-publics

Cristina Lafont*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

This essay focuses on recent proposals to confer decisional status upon deliberative mini-publics such as citizens’ juries, Deliberative Polls, and citizens’ assemblies. Against such proposals, I argue that inserting deliberative mini-publics into political decision-making processes would diminish the democratic legitimacy of the political system as a whole. This negative conclusion invites a question: which political uses of mini-publics would yield genuinely democratic improvements? Drawing from a participatory conception of deliberative democracy, I propose several uses of mini-publics that could enhance the democratic legitimacy of political decision-making in current societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-105
Number of pages21
JournalDaedalus
Volume146
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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