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Democracy and Disagreement
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2000
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
'Democeracy and disagreement' contributes a great deal to the current discussion in political philosophy, regarding the ways democracy should confront the disagreements inside it.
It stand in contrast both to 'procedural democracy' - which insist on the right/justified process in which solutions to disagreements are made, and to 'constitutional democracy' - which insist on a set of rights that has priority over the democratic process, rights whose primary purpose is to produce justified outcomes. Gutmann and Thompson suggest what they call a 'deliberative democracy', which rejects the dichotomy between democratic proceudres and just outcomes. According to the deliberative conception, citizens and representatives are deliberating over both the process and the content of disagreements and the way to solve them, if accessible.
After introducing the main principles which sould guide the process - reciprocity, publicity and acountability, and the principles which should guide the content - basic liberty, basic oppurtunity and fair oppurtunity, they discuss their conception in what they call 'middle politics' - of everyday politics, where arguments are actually made regarding real issues that are on the public agenda, and where conflicts between different views are actually taking place. This way they demonstrate their conception in discussing abortions, transplants, affirmative action, healthe care and more.
After reading 'deliberative democracy', one is more qualified in thinking about the main political issues on the public agenda, as well as on the principles that should guide thinking and discussing them.
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