delirevative democracy

Topics: Democracy, Deliberative democracy, Jürgen Habermas Pages: 57 (18023 words) Published: October 30, 2014
DOCUMENTO DE TRABAJO N° 19

Deliberative Democracy and the Politics of Reason

Maria Esperanza Casullo
Agosto de 2007

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Documento de Trabajo N° 19
María Esperanza Casullo
2007

SERIE “DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO”
ESCUELA DE POLITICA Y GOBIERNO
Universidad Nacional de San Martín
www.unsam.edu.ar

SERIE “DOCUMENTO DE TRABAJO” DE LA ESCUELA POLITICA Y GOBIERNO DE LA UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE SAN MARTIN
La serie de Documentos de Trabajo refleja parte de las actividades de investigación la Escuela de Política y Gobierno. Los documentos difunden productos parciales y preliminares de investigación, propuestas de trabajo y ponencias presentadas en congresos nacionales e internacionales.

Para obtener copias de la Serie solicitarlas a documentosdetrabajoepg@unsam.edu.ar

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Documento de Trabajo N° 19
María Esperanza Casullo
2007

Maria Esperanza Casullo
Dissertation: Expanding the Borders of Democracy
Draft of Chapter One: Deliberative Democracy and the Politics of Reason

CHAPTER ONE: DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY THE POLITICS OF REASON

The 20th century might very well be remembered as the time in history where one of the oldest circles of political theory was finally squared: how to combine democratic politics and rationality. And this would be a remarkable achievement, indeed. For democracy has been regarded, ever since the times of Plato and Aristotle, as incompatible with a rational and just rule. For Plato, rationality and order were exclusive of the higher regime that he called aristocracy—the one in which the wisest and better ruled. For Aristotle (always the realist), justice and order might never be achieved, even in an aristocracy, but stability depended of the existence of a republic, or polity. 1 For both, democracy, the rule of the demos, or mass, was doomed to chaos, demagoguery, and even descent into tyranny.

Mistrust towards democracy was almost universal until well into the 19th century, and conformed the political common sense of men like Burke, Kant, or the writers of the American constitution. It is striking, however, how in a relatively short period of time—a century and a half to two centuries—most people have become convinced that not only is democratic politics compatible with rationality, but it is in fact the only rational form of rule. Democracy and rationality are now seem as mutually reinforcing. Only a democratic regime, it is often said, can be a rational and just one. The enmeshing of rationality and

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It must be noted, however, that for Aristotle the polity included an element of democracy: "[s]imply speaking, polity is a mixture of oligarchy and democracy." Aristotle, Politics. Carnes Lord Translation.

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Documento de Trabajo N° 19
María Esperanza Casullo
2007

the rule of the demos does not strike any does not strike anybody (with the possible exception of some democratic skeptics educated in the teachings of Leo Strauss) as scandalous, and this is, in itself, an outstanding achievement. Regarding the matter closely, however, any optimist democrat must acknowledge that to make democracy compatible with rationality it was necessary to alter the concept of democracy, sometimes in radical ways. When a teacher or a political reformer says “democracy” today, chances are she does not mean a radical, participatory direct form self-rule” but the mixed rule of liberal or constitutional democracy. Any politicallyminded Athenian from the Classic era would find our “democracies” unrecognizable: instead of the direct self-rule of the polis we have a large-scale, over-institutionalized, bureaucratized, big-party regime that is called “mass democracy”. In fact, and through a process of trial and error, the mixed regime that is liberal democracy was carefully crafted through the trimming its most “democratic” features. The radical democratic potential of liberal democracy is carefully harnessed to balance other two non-democratic goals: political stability and the protection of...
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