The Obama Phenomenon: Deliberative Conversationalism & the Pursuit of Community through Presidential Politics

70 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2008 Last revised: 2 Apr 2010

Robert Justin Lipkin

Widener University School of Law

Abstract

Does political theory have an interesting relationship to presidential politics? This Article argues that the public statements of Senator Barack Obama exemplify an anti-foundationalist theory of political dispute resolution. This theory, called "deliberative conversationalism," attempts to answer the question of how agreement is possible in a republican democracy. The theory's central features include deliberation, conversation, transformative change, community, and, consensus. These are also elements in Senator Obama's vision for a new American politics. Understanding the relationship between the theory of deliberative conversationalism and Senator Obama's public statements provides a window into the mind of a politician who may become the next president of the United States.

Keywords: barack obama, presidential politics, deliberative conversationalism, democracy, political theory

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Lipkin, Robert Justin, The Obama Phenomenon: Deliberative Conversationalism & the Pursuit of Community through Presidential Politics. Journal of Law and Social Change, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2009; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research, No. 08-83. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1307283

Robert Justin Lipkin (Contact Author)

Widener University School of Law ( email )

PO Box 7474
4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803
United States
302-477-2193 (Phone)
302-477-2255 (Fax)

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