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Back to Panel Details
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Disagreement and Diversity in Deliberative Democracy

Democracy
Political Participation
Political Psychology
Political Theory
Lab Experiments
Normative Theory
Political Engagement
Public Opinion
P096
Kimmo Grönlund
Åbo Akademi
André Bächtiger
Universität Stuttgart
Nicole Curato
Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra

Friday 14:00 - 15:40 (08/09/2017)

Building: BL27 Georg Sverdrups hus Floor: 3 Room: GS 3512

Abstract

Disagreement is often regarded as a central condition for deliberative democracy. According to the deliberative ideal, people should listen to other individuals whose views and values differ from their own and engage in constructive and respectful dialogue (Gutmann & Thompson 1996, Habermas 1996). Thus, most deliberative enterprises in citizen deliberation, i.e. mini-publics, have been constructed along the ideal of diversity at the group level. In real life politics, however, many political discussions occur in more like-minded settings, at least before taking place at the cross-cutting institutionalized democratic level. A traditional example would be intra-party discussions before a municipal council meeting or before a parliamentary debate. Based on empirical evidence, some scholars (Hibbing and Theiss-Morse 2002, Mutz 2006) have claimed that “ordinary” people tend to avoid political conflict, making the deliberative ideal more or less impossible to achieve, at least when it comes to citizen deliberation. This view has been challenged both theoretically and empirically (Neblo et al. 2010). Yet, the question of the level of disagreement is central to the theory of deliberative democracy, and its practical undertakings. Recently, some articles (Grönlund et al. 2015, Esterling et al. 2015, Lindell et al. 2016, Strandberg et al. forthcoming) have used (quasi-) experimental data from deliberative mini-publics in order to see whether the negative effects of like-mindedness, such as group polarization, can be avoided with deliberative norms. The panel invites papers which address the role of disagreement in deliberation. How much disagreement is needed? Can like-minded groups deliberate without going to an extreme? Is like-mindedness always harmful to deliberation? Can like-mindedness be used to empower people with a low SES? The panel encourages both theoretical papers and papers with empirical testing of the role of disagreement.
Title Details
Deliberation and Disagreement in Deliberative Mini-publics View Paper Details
How Disagreement and Facilitation Affect Participants’ Experiences of Taking Part in Deliberation. Evidence from Three Experiments View Paper Details
Anonymity in Deliberative Spaces on the Internet: Diversity, Conflict and Conformity View Paper Details
Understanding Citizen Deliberation View Paper Details