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Essays on Political Actors and Attitudes: Do They Constitute Distributed Reflexivity? Part 3: Long-Term Dynamics Towards Deliberative Democracy

[journal article]

Neumann, Martin; Srbljinović, Armano

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Abstract In this final part of our series of essays we discuss the consequences of our earlier stated hypotheses that in times of well-being the logic of appropriateness prevails among both the constituencies and their political representatives, while in times of crisis constituencies resort to the logic of arguing, and leaders predominantly use the logic of consequences with some admixtures of the logic of arguing. Over a longer term we expect a gradual shift from the logic of consequences toward the logic of arguing in times of crises. However, we do not expect that such a shift necessarily leads to a greater societal problem-solving capacity, since self-referential communicative processes may lead to what we call “communicative bubbles”. Yet, we also argue that societies developing more deliberative strands of democracy have significant potential to come close to the condition of distributed reflexivity, characterized by the fact that each member of a society is able to start or join a discussion on any issue of his or her concern, to exercise his or her reasoning freely, and to make up his or her mind on any such issue, taking into account, when doing so, that other people have equal capacities and equal rights to do the same. We conclude that a plurality of deliberatively democratic societies have significant potential to develop genuine problem-solving capacities, and not merely communicative bubbles.
Keywords political philosophy; deliberative democracy; political communication; political actor; political attitude; rationality; argumentation; logic; political change; Europe
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Political Science
Free Keywords distributed reflexivity; logic of appropriateness; logic of arguing; logic of consequences
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 55-63
Journal European Quarterly of Political Attitudes and Mentalities, 2 (2013) 4
ISSN 2285-4916
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works