Making democratic connections: political equality, deliberation and direct democracy.
Acta Politica, 36(4),
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This article argues that advocates of deliberative democracy, on the one hand, and direct democracy, on the other, ought to engage with each other's perspectives much more than they have done so far. The ideals and practices associated with these two models can be shown to be mutually supportive, and in some cases even mutually implicative. By deploying Robert A. Dahl's influential criteria for the democratic process as a baseline, we can begin to see how neither deliberative nor direct approaches taken in isolation can offer an adequate account of democracy. At the same time, we can see how each contributes crucial insights into the demands of democracy, extending and deepening dominant representative or polyarchal theories. Concluding comments sketch innovative institutional designs that exploit deliberative, direct and representative devices, making connections between them with the aim of enriching our visions of democratic practice.
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