In Search for Democratic Agency in Deliberative Governance
2013 (English)In: European Journal of International Relations, ISSN 1354-0661, E-ISSN 1460-3713, Vol. 19, no 4, 847-868 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In recent years, we have witnessed deliberative democracy take a ‘civil society turn’ to address the democratic deficit of global governance. In light of the present circumstances of world politics, it is argued that civil society offers a rich soil for reformulating democracy globally. This article engages in this debate with particular focus on democratic agency. It investigates the notion of democratic agency built into this deliberative civil society view with regard to its democratic qualities. This is done by problematizing a common feature underlying this view, here called the ‘separability premise’, which presumes that it is possible to define democracy as two or more separate core democratic qualities or mechanisms — most importantly, inclusive participation, accountability, authorization and deliberation — and that democracy increases the more one or more of these are strengthened. The article defends the thesis that the proposed political subject is not equipped to be a democratic agent insofar as the deliberative civil society view does not fulfil two basic requirements for an arrangement to qualify as minimally democratic, namely, political equality and political bindingness. The article concludes that insofar as we wish to hold on to a deliberative conception of democracy, something along the lines of Habermas’s two-track view is still our best bet for accommodating these two conditions, even in a transnational context, since it is able to avoid the problems connected with the separability premise.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 19, no 4, 847-868 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-162280DOI: 10.1177/1354066111426622ISI: 000327991700008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-162280DiVA: diva2:459989