Reflective Democracy

Reflective Democracy by Robert E. Goodin

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Other Titles by Robert E. Goodin

Democracy used to be seen as a relatively mechanical matter of merely adding up everyone's votes in freeand fair elections. That mechanistic model has many virtues, among them allowing democracy to 'track thetruth', where purely factual issues are all that is at stake. Political disputes invariably mix facts withvalues, however, and then it is essential to listen to what people are saying rather than merely note howthey are voting. The great challenge is how to implement that deliberative ideal among millions of people at once. In this strikingly original book, Goodin offers a solution: 'democratic deliberation within'. Building on models of ordinary conversational dynamics, he suggests that people simply imagine themselves in the position of variousother people they have heard or read about and ask, 'What would they say about this proposal?' Informingthe democratic imaginary then becomes the key to making deliberations more reflective - more empathetic, more considered, more expansive across time and distance.
Publication Date:
13 / 02 / 2003

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