Explicate the features of deliberative democracy. 15 marks

2nd attempt


Structure :

  1. basics about deliberative democracy
  2. compare it with other forms ofdemocracy
  3. methods
  4. examples -gram sabha
  5. Main scholars , critique


1st Attempt

It is a democracy where deliberation is central to decision making . Authentic deliberation not mere voting is the primary source of legitimacy . The parameter for making a law  should be correctness of argument not numbers.It focuses on the process as much as the result. It is associated with people like David Miller ,J Drysek , James Fishkin , Joshau Cohen etc .


Liberal democrats view decision making or  “General Will” as the sum of aggregates of individual will.In this sense it believed that people’s interests and preferences are formed prior to political process and independently and decision making is just to reach a negotiation between conflicting interests.Whereas Deliberative democrats that people opinion are formed during the political process through give and take of rational arguments .Democracy then is a process of arriving at mutually agreed judgement. In this way people become aware of information and perspectives that they were previously unaware of.

Deliberation thus reinvents the  participative model of democracy and the key idea is that of dialogue. Through open discussion and unlimited discourse a better argument emerges. But this needs what Habermas called “an ideal speech situation”.

There is an inherent danger of preferring certain dominant forms of communication and opinions as authoritative . Also deliberative democrats hope for a consensus which is difficult in diverse and complex  societies.