chapter  4
Deliberation, citizenship and identity
ByMatthew Festenstein
Pages 24

The theory of deliberative democracy is usually viewed as an account of the legitimacy of political decisions. It expresses an ideal of democratic decision making as a process of reasoned public discussion of arguments for and against some proposal with the aim of arriving at a judgement which is generally acceptable. Arguments for deliberative democracy have overwhelmingly been concerned with establishing that democracy conceived as a process of this sort possesses a legitimacy lacking from democratic procedures which are understood merely as mechanisms for the aggregation of private interests or preferences. According to the latter conception: