Talk:Deliberative democracy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Politics (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Politics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of politics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Sociology (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Sociology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of sociology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
This article has been mentioned by a media organization:

January 2006[edit]

I do not think vote is an effective means in deliberative democracy. As the author of the entry said, deliberative democracy addresses the interests of minor and marginal groups, whose voices are very likely to be flooded in a vote. A vote is a system in which only the majority's interest is addressed. Many argue that it is not really democratic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Snakehsu (talkcontribs) 05:38, 18 January 2006‎

Section headings[edit]

I added some section headings to break up the text. Note that I phrased them to describe the contents, not as I think they should be, and others can alter them as the article is improved. For instance, "Cohen's outline" was the best I could come up with for that chunk, since it isn't clear how much agreement other deliberative theorists would have with this, etc. This whole section could use some work so that it reads more smoothly, defines or references some of the jargon used, etc. Currently it reads like a series of outline notes, and isn't always clear to some readers (or at least to me). David Oberst 03:17, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

I second that about the jargon and lack of clarity here. For an encyclopedic article at least, it should be more clear to the average non-initiated reader. Brettz9 19:22, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Needs a lot of work[edit]

this entry needs a lot of work, especially clarifying the strands of deliberative democracy and various justifications (epistemic, autonomy-based, transformative), and contrasts with various aggregative conceptions of democracy. Also, some distinction is needed between arguments about the ideal of DD and specific proposals for more deliberative institutions and practices. I'll try to get to this over the next week or so. --Lorenking 20:23, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Some of the references lead to 404 errors (see the unpublished Master's Thesis for example) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

IMHO, this entry still needs a lot of work- probably a (near) total re-write. There are major aspects of DD that are just missing, particularly related to DD in practice, the media, etc... E.g., the article mentions Habermas but doesn't talk about the public sphere. Gutmann and Thompson's book isn't covered very well, nor is Fishkin's work. There's no discussion of group polarization. Etc... I'm thinking about doing this over the holiday break, but am posting this now (1) to gauge the level likely resistance (if any) to this, and (2) to see if anyone is planning similar work with whom I might collaborate. Kkoning (talk) 06:25, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Agree. The article is quite confusing and, as mentioned above, some approaches are not even mentioned. Particularly Habermas' concept is not explained at all, he is simply mentioned once in the very end of the article. Even the English Wikipedia entry on Habermas as a person offers more insights into notions of deliberation, public sphere and civil society. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:15, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Issues dealing with Social Choice[edit]

The weakness of DD related to Social Choice needs improvement. In particular, the supposed problem posed by Arrow's theorem is not explained, and not reference to that problem is provided. There is nothing on Arrow's theorem relevant here, since it deals with properties of voting systems (and thus these issues are common to any democracy theory that uses voting).

In fact, the impossibility is rather theoretic: Condorcet voting method satisfies these properties if we weaken one: that we allow that the final outcome can be non-unique (a tie). There are methods to deal with Condorcet voting method issue of "circular ties", see Condorcet_method#Circular_ambiguities.

Also, the link does lead to a person web-page and not to the resource that argues for Arrow's theorem non-relevance to DD. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Enric (talkcontribs) 10:11, 28 March 2007 (UTC). external link ok?[edit]

Is it ok to add an external link to on this article. Debatepedia describes itself as a deliberative, democratic tool. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:14, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

It's not really appropriate. Wikipedia's external links sections aren't for resources with a connection to the subject, they are for links to pages with further encyclopedic information about the subject. -- SiobhanHansa 02:04, 15 November 2007 (UTC)


If people who watch this page are also interested in how Wikipedia is governed, be sure to check out this: . Slrubenstein | Talk 13:19, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Outdated definition?[edit]

Im perplexed to note that my recent well referenced edits have been partially reverted. It seems wrong that our article unequivocally states that Deliberative Democracy can be either Direct or Representative. The 2011 edition of When the People Speak, clearly and repeatedly states that DelD has to be direct. Fiskin repeatedly writes that if deliberative decision making is not done by the people themselves it is either Elite Deliberation, or if done by elected representatives, Competive democracy He doesnt use the term representative democracy to avoid confusion - contemporary DirD typically uses "representative samples" of the overall population, selected by random polling. (this is something to be aware of, its easy to draw the wrong conclusions if you scan sources quickly)

Scholarly interest in DelD only really took off in the 1980s, and granted in the late 20th century a great many scholars did indeed use the term DirD to encompass representative democracy (though there were exceptions). Since the turn of the century, there has been an explosion in the number of practical implementations of Direct Democracy. In the last few years the term DelD has begun to be widely used to exclusively denote a subtype of direct democracy, to distinguish from other forms that dont have deliberation (non deliberative polls, referendum etc).

Granted there are exceptions ( Deliberative democracy and its discontents (2006) , Why Deliberative Democracy (2004) ) but generally recent 21th century scholarship seems to work on the definition that DelD is a subtype of direct. Even a look at most of the top results from a google search seems to confirm this. Or talking to politicians currently putting direct democracy into practice, e.g. I was speaking about DelD to green party leader Caroline Lucas only last week (you can see the photo I took of her here.

If others have convincing arguments that Im mistaken, I will of course leave this article alone, but otherwise I think we should include both the current and the old definition. This topic is too important for us to get it wrong! FeydHuxtable (talk) 17:26, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

This is a good discussion to have. Deliberative democracy is far from a unified philosophy, even (and especially) today. While more deliberative democratic theorists are now open to the idea of using deliberative democracy in direct democracy, there can hardly be said to be a consensus or near-consensus that deliberative democracy is a subtype of direct. In addition to the works you already spoke of, Leibt, for example, in his 2006 article "Can Direct Democracy Be Made Deliberative?", discusses the rift among deliberative democracy theorists between those supporting a representative form and others supporting a direct form (indeed, a major point of his article was to convince other skeptical theorists that such a thing as "direct deliberative democracy" was desirable). He notes that "elitist deliberative democrats" believe that deliberation is best had by legislatures and courts, while "populist deliberative democrats" believe that the people directly should be involved in deliberation (and even there, he notes that some populists only believe that the results of direct deliberation should be used only to advise elite deliberative bodies, not make final decisions directly.) Other articles, such as "Constitutional Referendums: A Theoretical Enquiry" (2009, Turney), also reference these competing views of deliberative democracy. In the 2009 article "Beyond ‘Technique’: The Role of Referendums in the Deliberative System," Parkinson makes an argument for a deliberative democracy in which directly democrat devices are used on a macro level, but not on a micro level, and he references early in the article the variety of views deliberative democracy theorists take on how deliberative democracy should be applied, including Mansbirg's idea of a "deliberative system" in which representative bodies maintain an important role in a successful deliberative democracy (as discussed in her 1999 article "Everyday talk in the deliberative system.") There are other articles that also make reference to the deliberative democracy used in representative contexts (I've read many, though don't have them handy; I can attempt to find more, if you'd like). There are also videos of leading deliberative democracy theorists at a Harvard conference on Deliberative Democracy, discussing how they believe that deliberative democracy should be viewed as a enhancement of, rather than a replacement of, representative democracy--and are skeptical that direct democracy can operate as truly deliberative. It's been a while since I watched them, but the clips that speak directly to that point are buried in the videos located at Regardless, throughout the conference, starting in the first video, the theorists continually discuss deliberative democracy in context of representative democracy, and reference how our current representative lawmaking bodies can be made into deliberatively democrat institutions). Given the breadth of sources that would not limit deliberative democracy as a subtype of direct democracy (and indeed, often speak of deliberative democrats who believe that deliberative democracy should only operate as a form of representative democracy), I believe the article should not limit the definition of deliberative democracy to that of a direct democracy subtype. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 05:36, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Personally I prefer spending time integrating sources to articles rather than discussing them, but as you say it is sometimes good to talk. Thanks for citing those quality sources. Not sure about your last sentence; no one wants to limit the definition to a subtype of direct. The best available sources seem to support us mentioning both definitions - the last version I edited included this in the lede: "by this definition deliberative democracy can be found in both representative and direct democracy."
Although you cite good scholarly sources, several of them seem to be bordering on self published. Ive already cited Oxford and Cambridge University press sources in the article. The exclusive sub type view can also be supported by other sources published by Harvard and MIT. Also your own sources seem consistent with the view that Firkin is a leading authority – Leibt (2009) for example seems to talk about Fiskin more than anyone else, so its maybe reasonable to place more weight on his views?
It might help to explain why the top tier sources like to use the exclusive definition. Representative democracy has been deliberative right from the start and so the term is redundant. Consider "Parliament is a deliberative assembly" from the famous statement by Burke, later well refined by JS Mill. On the US side of the pond, the founding fathers also considered deliberation essential. With direct democracy, the most obvious forms (plebicites etc) are non deliberative – so using deliberative democracy to denote a subtype provides a useful demarcation between the different major democratic forms.
(I accept as you say there are some advocating making RD more deliberative, and in a sense decision making by US representative falls far short of true deliberation. But this doesn't seem to be common usage. Sadly such efforts don't seem likely to fly in the near future either – as your own sources acknowledge, a prerequisite is a drastic reduction of the role of money in US politics, and despite huge popular support for this no practical progress has been made AFAIK. Whereas with regards to promoting direct deliberative democracy, there are hundreds of ongoing projects all over the world – as even Leibt (2006) partially acknowledges.)
Both the sources I admitted as including support for the broad view, and some of the ones cited by yourself, seem to lean towards sub type view. E.g. the first sentence of Elster (1998) is "The idea of deliberation, or decision making by discussion among free and equal citizens, is having a revival." – that surely equates with exclusive direct (granted later on Elster and some other contributors to the book do say it can also be representative). As implied above Gutman and Thompson in Why Deliberative Deomcracy do support the broad view but over 90% of the book seems to be about direct. Leibt (2006) he says he leans towards the populists. Even in your Tierney (2009), he mentions leading exponents of direct like Fiskin and Ackerman but is much more vague about the elitists.
We've talked about the top tier university press sources. Again, with the more accessible sources, the top rank results of a google for 'Deliberative democracy' seem to yield definitions such as "Deliberative democracy is the nationwide movement to make citizen participation meaningful and effective." It would be interesting to hear if you find the same, but for me a sampling of the top results seem to indicate the exclusive definition is far more commonly used, especially if you filter out any more than 5 years old. FeydHuxtable (talk) 20:24, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Been a while since I've been at it with the holidays and all. It seems (sadly) we're the only editors interested in the article at the time. I think the way the article is currently worded concerning the direct/representative issue is a good compromise, though we can certainly discuss it more. I agree with your statement that it's usually better practice to just directly incorporate sources into the article; I had been meaning to do so for a while, things just kept popping up. I went ahead and integrated some in with my last edit--particularly in the "Overview" section, which was in dire need of some in-line citations. I'll do some more of that in the coming week or two. –Prototime (talk · contribs) 03:25, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Good to hear. Others might pitch in once they see improvements, especially once we've added enough cites to remove the unsightly tag. Even with just the two of us, I think our outlooks are different enough for us to make a good team. Going forward, dont hesitate just to revert in the first instance if you dont like any of my changes. Now I know you know what your talking about I wont be "perplexed" if it happens again :-) FeydHuxtable (talk) 11:33, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good, I look forward to working with you. Let's get this article up to featured article status! –Prototime (talkcontribs) 22:28, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's correct to say that deliberative democracy always falls back to majority voting where consensus fails. This is a correctly described as a feature of Cohen's outline but the lede suggests it is a feature of all models. Jeremy Malcolm (talk) 00:25, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Deliberative democracy. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 11:53, 10 December 2016 (UTC)