Jürgen Habermas Deliberative Democracy Analysis

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Deliberative democracy, which considers the participation of citizens in deliberations and decision-making as central to democratic processes, can be seen as a part of the agenda of deepening democracy and has evoked discussions on normative themes such as self-governance, participatory politics, and rational legislation. The public deliberation of free and equal citizens forms the basis of legitimate decision-making and political justification. Consequently, inclusion and political equality are the two basic norms of deliberative democracy, the crux of the matter being that people should have a role and equal opportunities to participate directly in the deliberations or making of decisions that affect them. The deliberative conception of…show more content…
The ideas of Jürgen Habermas in particular have contributed much to the increased focus on deliberative democracy and public sphere. While a number of scholars have further contributed to the development of the concept, it was largely under his influence that the notion, that it is the transformation rather than merely the aggregation of preferences that is the essence of democracy, gained significance. Habermas puts forward an inclusive theory of deliberative democracy, where political deliberation is not restricted to the political elite. On the other hand, both the public as well as the private spheres participate in the political process through rational discussion. The public sphere which is seen as the wide realm of non-governmental associations in which citizens discuss and debate and where opinions are shaped forms the basis of his deliberative theory. As such, democracy consists of both an informal track of public communication in civil society, and a formal track of deliberative decision-making by traditional political institutions. These institutions respond to the public discussions of the informal track. Informal communication in the public sphere helps to identify new problems and bring them to public attention, while also suggesting ways to address them. Through formal political processes and…show more content…
However, there are several challenges to realising this deliberative concept of democracy, including how to achieve the two basic norms of political equality and inclusion, the control or even manipulation of public discussions by organised social and political power, and so on. The positions of governments often dominate public discourse and decision-making, and exclude alternative viewpoints. Similarly, the values and interests of particular social groups often play a disproportionate role in various parts of the deliberative system. Public spheres are often dominated by a particular perspective or ideology sidelining alternate viewpoints. Ultimately the moot question remains as to whether deliberative democracy will be able to bring about actual transformation in society, where power, social divisions, and property relations continue to reign supreme. The actual extent of democracy in any society may depend on various such factors including the economic and social structure of society, the nature of the public sphere and civil society, the features of the political system, etc. Nevertheless dialogue and deliberation have an indispensable role to play in any

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