What Happened to Public Deliberation?

Ahrens, Stephanie
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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.

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