Although there is an extended appeal to deliberation as the normative stance that should guide the renewal of our democracies, the different descriptions used to analyze many different realities generate some theoretical misperceptions. To help understand the implications of many current political debates, centered on the question of the forms and degree of citizen participation in constitution-making processes, it is important to review how the family of meanings of deliberation was articulated following an evolutive perspective. This will show their deep connections with key (contested) issues related to the legitimacy of our democracies, as the role of constitutions in the construction of “the People” and the institutional expression of the “popular will”. One of the results of this exercise is show the importance of differentiating systemic approaches to deliberation from those that privilege the participatory narrative, focused on the direct involvement of ordinary citizens in specific decision-making processes. The conclusion of this note, reflected on the chapters of this volume, is that this distinction is relevant to define the normative criteria that are being used in discussions on deliberation and constitution-making intended to assess present-day experiences.