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Justin Detmers TE 982 Why Deliberative Democracy?Guttman & Thompson
The text is a collection of essays Ch. 1: Primer for non-theorists Ch. 2: Analyzes the idea of reciprocity Ch. 3: “DD” is not only procedural, includes substantive principles liberty and opportunity Ch. 4: DD accommodates even conflicting views Ch. 5 & 6: Applying DD in US & UK Preface
Example: Going to war (Iraq); critiques of preventative war “Both advocates and the foes of the war acted as if they recognized an obligation to justify their views to their fellow citizens.” “Most fundamentally, deliberative democracy affirms the need to justify decisions made by citizens and their representatives.” Chapter 1 – What dd Means
1. Reason-giving requirement to free & equal citizens • The reasons are neither merely procedural (“because the majority favors the war”) nor purely substantive (“because the war promotes the national interest or world peace”). 2. Reasons must be accessible to all • Reasons must be public; no veiled religious or secular reasons 3. Must be binding for some time 4. DD is dynamic; supposed to change things What is DD?
“A form of government in which free and equal citizens (and their representatives), justify decisions in a process in which they give one another reasons that are mutually acceptable and generally accessible, with the aim of reaching conclusions that are binding in the present on all citizens but open to challenge in the future.” ~ DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY DEFINED~
The general aim of deliberative democracy is to provide the most justifiable conception for dealing with moral disagreement in politics. • promote the legitimacy of collective decisions • encourage public-spirited perspectives on public issues. • promote mutually respectful processes of decision-making. What purpose does dd serve?
Guttman and Thompson put forth a pluralistic, not consensus idea of DD Scope: DD is called for domestically and internationally (more cosmopolitan), More on domestic scope: in Gov’t, not all civil domains Representative, not direct DD Clarification
HOPE: citizens can at least agree on principles that would remove decisions about a policy from the political agenda. Challenge … familiar liberal way of dealing with moral conflict. The consensus on these higher-order principles that liberals propose is not sufficient to eliminate moral conflict from politics, and a more robust set of principles is necessary to govern the conflict that inevitably and legitimately remains. Chapter 2 Moral Disagreement & Political consensus
1. principles of preclusion denies unjustifiable reasons (e.g. reject racist views) 2. principles of accommodation toleration; making sure mutual respect happens Authors favor many Lockean views and consider the role of religion higher-order principles constituting the core of consensus
Pro-choice and pro-life advocates can agree on all the facts about fetuses (and the circumstances of women who bear them) and still disagree in their beliefs about whether the fetus is a person. Different plausible beliefs lie at the base of the best arguments for and against the legalization of abortion. “Although pro-life advocates sometimes invoke a religious conception of human life, the belief that the fetus is a human life does not depend on a religious conception. The pro-life belief derives its plausibility from such secular considerations as the similarity of successive stages of fetal development, just as the prochoice belief partly derives its plausibility from the apparent differences between a zygote and an infant. Both pro-life and pro-choice positions are in this sense reasonable.” Functional Example of Moral Disagreement
Democratic principles must be substantive as well as procedural Guttman & Thompson trouble pure proceduralism Authors make point via health care case in the United Kingdom in ’99: In 1999, the British Government created a new body, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), which is to provide assessments of treatments and clinical guidelines for use by the National Health Service (NHS). Chapter 3 Deliberative democracy beyond process
Reciprocity holds that citizens owe one another justifications for the mutually binding laws and public policies they collectively enact • providing reasons that constitute a justification for imposing binding laws on them • Reciprocity is to justice in political ethics what replication is to truth in scientific ethics • Reciprocity requires substantive principles • (e.g. ‘fair democratic will’ could seek to discriminate) • Assumes the majority can act wrongly Reciprocity
Deliberative democrats stress agreements, at least initially Deliberative democrats do not require that competing first-order theories be rejected. The points of convergence among and within competing first-order theories are substantial. Is different from other theories because it contains within itself the means of its own revision. Chapter 4 – Is DD different?
Guiding Q: What standards should be used to assess the process of making decisions about health-care policy? ~Reciprocity Demands~ Accessible Reasons Moral Reasons Respectful Reasons Revisable Reasons Chapter 5 - just deliberation about Healthcare
Governmental institutions should also be designed to encourage deliberation on the merits of issues rather than engage only in interest-group bargaining… Not simply a cost-benefit issue Goal to improve the quality of the decisions they make. Revisability offers important protection against the mistakes that citizens, health-care professionals, and administrators all inevitably make. Practically
“To the extent that the institutions for making these decisions are deliberation-friendly in these ways, the decisions that they produce will be more mutually justifiable, and the healthcare policies they represent will be more morally legitimate, even if they are not always politically popular. By making the process in which citizens decide the future of their health care more deliberative, they stand a better chance of resolving some of their moral disagreements, and living with those that will inevitably persist, on mutually acceptable terms.” In sum