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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Non-deliberative politics in deliberative democracy: distinct approaches for different actors

Andrea Felicetti

In this paper Andrea Felicetti first illustrates the main ideas of the systemic turn, explores the distinction between ‘deliberative’ and ‘non-deliberative’ politics and investigates the main arguments justifying non-deliberative politics. Then, he builds upon these arguments to shed new light on the relationship between deliberative and non-deliberative politics. He identifies three distinctive actors in deliberative systems (political institutions, empowered agents, and public space actors). Finally, he argues that deliberative democrats should adopt three different approaches (intensive, moderate, and free) in order to assess whether the use of non-deliberative politics by each of these actors is legitimate.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

This article advances one of the most important debates in recent scholarship on democratic theory: the one on deliberative systems. In the wake of the systemic turn deliberative scholars agree that not all components of a deliberative system can or even need to be deliberative. However, there is little clarity about the role of non-deliberative politics in a system and to what extent these are justifiable while we seek a more deliberative society. In this paper I first illustrate the main ideas of the systemic turn, explore the distinction between ‘deliberative’ and ‘non-deliberative’ politics and investigate the main arguments justifying non-deliberative politics. Then, I build upon these arguments to shed new light on the relationship between deliberative and non-deliberative politics. I identify three distinctive actors in deliberative systems (political institutions, empowered agents, and public space actors). Finally, I argue that deliberative democrats should adopt three different approaches (intensive, moderate, and free) in order to assess whether the use of non-deliberative politics by each of these actors is legitimate.

Felicetti, A. (2017). Non-deliberative politics in deliberative democracy: Distinct approaches for different actors. Italian Political Science Review/Rivista Italiana Di Scienza Politica, 1-21. doi:10.1017/ipo.2017.16

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/italian-political-science-review-rivista-italiana-di-scienza-politica/article/nondeliberative-politics-in-deliberative-democracy-distinct-approaches-for-different-actors/05471A5604B32CA6886647CD22EB56B5

News

10/11/2017

Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities

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We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities, sponsored by the Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities project (EURYKA) and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).

26/10/2017

Now Online! The plenary session (Un)making Europe of the 13th ESA Conference

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During the plenary session, Donatella della Porta and Yanis Varoufakis spoke about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies.

06/10/2017

Open Democracy Post - "The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

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Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society. This post at Open Democracy addresses this issue from a different angle.

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

The Refugee Crisis as a Crisis of Legitimacy

Pietro Castelli Gattinara
The paper suggests that the refugee crisis is best understood in relation to other ongoing crises in the EU, and that the way it is handled will have significant consequences for future action, shaping the way European societies cope with forthcoming crises and transforming the relationship between states and citizens. Accordingly, it argues that the permanent state of emergency characterising governmental responses so far does not bode well for the future of liberal democracy in Europe.

Journal Article - 2017

The Myth of Apolitical Volunteering for Refugees: German Welcome Culture and a New Dispositif of Helping

Larissa Fleischmann and Elias Steinhilper
During the so-called “refugee crisis”, the notion of an unparalleled German hospitality toward asylum seekers circulated within the (inter)national public sphere, often encapsulated by the blurry buzzword “Welcome Culture”. In this article, we scrutinize these developments and suggest that the image of the so-called “crisis” has activated an unprecedented number of German citizens to engage in practices of “apolitical” helping. However, we aim to unmask forms of “apolitical” volunteering for refugees as a powerful myth: the new dispositif of helping comes with ambivalent and contradictory effects that range from forms of antipolitics to transformative political possibilities within the European border regime.