What Happened to Public Deliberation?

Date
2012-05-05
Authors
Ahrens, Stephanie
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Abstract

Today, discussions about politics look more like battle than thoughtful conversations aimed at working toward the common good. My thesis is an effort to imagine what a more healthy political discourse might look like. To do this, I do three things: examine the common good and its place in a liberal regime, recover fundamental ideals that are related to public deliberation from our political theoretical tradition, and engage with some of the literature on the movement called "deliberative democracy." I look at it critically, seeing what it has to offer us in light of the common good and the tradition which I have outlined. I conclude by bringing together these three elements to understand what happened to public deliberation, and offer a few ideas on how we might bring our society's discourse closer to something that looks more like cooperative discussion than battle.

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Keywords
Public deliberation., Deliberative democracy., Political conversation., Political theory., Political science.
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