Deliberative Democracy and Beyond: Liberals, Critics, Contestations

Deliberative Democracy and Beyond: Liberals, Critics, Contestations by Katherine van Wormer
By: Katherine van Wormer

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In this ground-breaking study, John Dryzek argues that democratic theory is now dominated by a deliberative approach. As one of those responsible for this turn, John Dryzek now takes issue with the direction it has taken. Discussing the models of democracy advocated by both friends and critics of the deliberative approach, Dryzek shows that democracy should be critical of established power, transitional in extending beyond national boundaries, and dynamic in its openness to changingconstraints upon and opportunities for democratization. - ;The past few years have seen a remarkable ferment in the theory of democracy. Deliberative Democracy and Beyond builds on a critical tour through recent democratic theory by one of the leading political theorists in the field. It examines the deliberative turn in democratic theory, which argues that the essence of democratic legitimacy is to be found in authentic deliberations on the part of those affected by a collective decision. The deliberative turn began as a challenge toestablished institutions and models of democracy, but it has now been largely assimilated by these same institutions and models. Drawing a distinction between liberal constitutionalist deliberative democracy and discursive democracy, the author criticizes the former and advocates the latter. He arguesthat a defensible theory of democracy should be critical of established power, pluralistic, reflexive in its questioning orientation to established traditions, transnational in its capacity to extend across state boundaries, ecological, and dynamic in its openness to ever-changing constraints upon and opportunities for democratization. Dryzek's reinvigorated approach enables deliberative democracy to respond more effectively to the criticisms that have been leveled against it. - ;Remarkable book ... Dryzek's discussions are unfailingly lucid, and his critical assessments of the literature remain comprehensive and illuminating ... Readers will find much to ponder in what he has to say. - Ethics;The most remarkable and subtle part of Dryzek's argument is his attempt to construct green theory of democratic communication, which takes account of agency and communication in the non-human natural world ... The argument is a bit like crossing a ravine on a bridge of eggshells, and is conducted with considerable intellectual excitement ... Dryzek's discussion is throughout careful, rigorous, detailed, and in dealing with views from which he distinguishes his own position,scrupulously sympathetic. - Democratizaton;This clear and imaginative presentation of recent attempts to make democracy more inclusive than traditional liberal models bounded by the institutions of the state is highly recommended for collections serving upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers. - Choice;Dryzek is a sharp and authoritative critic, and this will be an influential work ... even the sceptical will do well to engage closely with Dryzek's provocative vision. - Political Studies
Publication Date:
20 / 04 / 2000

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