Deliberation, Participation, and Democratic Legitimacy: Should Deliberative Mini-Publics Shape Public Policy?

The Journal of Political Philosophy, Forthcoming

24 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2015 Last revised: 10 Sep 2015

See all articles by Cristina Lafont

Cristina Lafont

Northwestern University - Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Date Written: September 9, 2015

Abstract

In this article I defend the view that only a participatory conception of democracy is compatible with the criterion of democratic legitimacy that deliberative democrats endorse. I do so by analyzing proposals to use mini-publics for shaping public policy and showing that their generalized use would diminish rather than increase the legitimacy of the deliberative system as a whole. These proposals face a normative dilemma. Their implementation would be a superfluous shortcut if the shaping relies on the uptake of the mini-publics’ recommendations for deliberation in the public sphere. Alternatively, if the mini-publics’ recommendations were to directly feed into a decision-making process bypassing deliberation in the public sphere, its implementation would be incompatible with the criterion of legitimacy endorsed by deliberative democrats.

Keywords: deliberative mini-publics, democratic legitimacy, participatory democracy

Suggested Citation

Lafont, Cristina, Deliberation, Participation, and Democratic Legitimacy: Should Deliberative Mini-Publics Shape Public Policy? (September 9, 2015). The Journal of Political Philosophy, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2658399

Cristina Lafont (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences ( email )

Evanston, IL
United States

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