Deliberative drift: The emergence of deliberation in the policy process

Date

2008

Authors

McLaverty, Peter
Halpin, Darren

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Sage Publications Inc

Abstract

This article explores the issue of what we call "deliberative drift": the emergence of deliberation in a non-deliberative setting. The literature on deliberative democracy has tended to focus upon practices taking place in specifically deliberative settings. We ask whether deliberation cannot logically occur elsewhere in the policy process, or, more specifically, can politics based on bargaining and aggregation be transformed (or drift) toward deliberative practice? In pondering this question, Habermas's argument that a communicative rationality underpins deliberation is useful, as it demarcates deliberative from other practices by a willingness of participants to cast aside fixed preferences. While procedures and institutional designs are inflexible, the orientations or rationalities of individuals may be much more malleable. We explore one empirical case in which what started as negotiating and instrumental processes drifted toward a deliberative practice. We speculate that the rationalities that participants bring to their interaction, and the ways in which those rationalities change with the development of trust between participants, are as important in determining whether deliberation occurs as is the setting within which the interaction takes place.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: Bargaining; Communicative rationality; Deliberation; Democracy; Trust

Citation

Source

International Political Science Review

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1177/0192512107085612

Restricted until

2037-12-31