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Educational implications of the idea of deliberative democracy
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Utbildning och demokrati)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9735-3440
2010 (English)In: Habermas, critical theory and education / [ed] Mark Murphy, Ted Fleming, New York: Routledge , 2010, 19-32 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The movement towards deliberative democracy has many proponents among American political scientists but one outstanding spokesman in Europe, the German social philosopher Jürgen Habermas, who also has located the idea of deliberative democracy in a broad analytical frame of reference of societal development not just related to democratic theory. He contends that the project of modernity can be seen as unfinished, and that, through communicative action, an on-going normative rationalization is possible. The theory of communicative action that he develops is, thus, a theory of social integration, and further developed into a model for deliberative democracy and a discourse theory of law and democracy.

The implications of the model of deliberative democracy for education are not explicit and Habermas can be interpreted in different ways. What can be said is that he places the realization of deliberative policy in the institutionalization of procedures, where an intersubjectivity on a higher level is expected to emerge; public discourses find a good response only under circumstances of broad participation. This in turn requires a background political culture that is egalitarian, divested of all educational privileges, and thoroughly intellectual, according to Habermas. Political autonomy, he says, cannot be realized by a person who fulfils his or her own private interests, but only as a joint enterprise in an intersubjective, shared practice. On this account, the deliberative project could be regarded as the continuation of the project of modernity.

While an ongoing deliberative democracy requires citizens with well-established deliberative attitudes and a society that rests on the idea of deliberative democracy is a long-term project, it implies that some institutions are given a central role. A possible way of strengthening deliberative democracy might be to use the educational system for deliberative communication, which is understood as communication in which different opinions and values can be brought face to face with an endeavour to ensure that each individual takes a stand by listening, deliberating, seeking arguments and evaluating, while at the same time there is a collective effort to find values and norms that everyone can agree upon. Five characteristics of deliberative communication are presented and discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Routledge , 2010. 19-32 p.
Series
Routledge international studies in the philosophy of education, 22
Keyword [en]
deliberative democracy, deliberative communication, citizenship literacy, pluralism, Habermas
National Category
Pedagogy Social Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-8623ISBN: 978-0-415-80617-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-8623DiVA: diva2:277882
Projects
Utbildning som deliberativ kommunikation
Available from: 2009-11-20 Created: 2009-11-20 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Englund, Tomas

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