Is Deliberative Democracy a Falsifiable Theory?
Posted: 6 Jun 2008
To further dialogue between theory and research on deliberative democracy, I advocate abandoning tests of deliberative theory per se and instead developing "middle-range" theories that are each important, specifiable, and falsifiable parts of deliberative democratic theory. By replacing vaguely defined entities with more concrete, circumscribed concepts, and by requiring empirically and theoretically grounded hypotheses about specific relationships between those concepts, researchers may come to understand which elements of the deliberative experience are crucial to particular valued outcomes.
Keywords: deliberation, empirical research, middle-range theory
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