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Deliberative Democracy in the Trenches

Daedalus, Symposium on Deliberative Democracy, Forthcoming

13 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2015 Last revised: 17 Jul 2016

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: July 14, 2016

Abstract

In the last decades, many political theorists have explored the idea of “deliberative democracy.” The basic claim is that well-functioning democracies combine accountability with a commitment to reflection, information acquisition, multiple perspectives, and reason-giving. Does that claim illuminate actual practices? Much of the time, the executive branch in the United States combines both democracy and deliberation, not least because it places a high premium on reason-giving and the acquisition of necessary information. It also contains a high degree of internal diversity, encouraging debate and disagreement, not least through the public comment process. These claims are illustrated with concrete, if somewhat stylized, discussions of how the executive branch often operates.

Keywords: deliberative democracy, executive branch, social cost of carbon, OIRA

JEL Classification: D02, D73, D78, I18, K23

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R., Deliberative Democracy in the Trenches (July 14, 2016). Daedalus, Symposium on Deliberative Democracy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2685195 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2685195

Cass R. Sunstein (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts Ave
Areeda Hall 225
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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