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Deliberative and civil society models of democracy - Coursework Example

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This paper is being carried out to compare and contrast liberal democracy with republican democracy in order to determine the essential question of how deliberative and civil society models of democracy overcome the problems of the liberal democracy. …
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Deliberative and civil society models of democracy
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Download file to see previous pages According to the research there are two central view of democracy. In the republican model of democracy, there is solidarity between disparate groups of people. The different groups who comprise society recognize that they are all unified, and that there is a common good that must be sought after. In this kind of democracy, therefore, there is a societal consensus of norms, so that there is a centralized core of democratic principles which underpin the political process. In the liberal model of democracy, however, there are disparate groups, and these disparate groups do not try to unify with society as a whole. Rather, they compete with one another for political power and resources, and the people vote on whose interests prevail. Therefore, society does not have a centralized core and is in danger of disintegrating. The liberal society is marked by societal preferences, whereas the republic society is marked by societal values. Because of this, some critics, including Habermas and Boesche, believe that liberal societies have a problem with legitimacy of laws, as these laws are not based upon societal norms, but, rather, are based on something less, and these laws are subjected to being dismantled by lawmakers on a seeming whim. The international stage is a macrocosm of these problems, according to Dryzek, as the international relations are marked by competition between disparate groups who do not necessarily agree upon becoming a unified whole. Deliberative democracy may help to overcome the problems which are inherent in a liberal democracy. Deliberative democracy introduces reasoned discourse into the political process, therefore it provides more of a substantial underpinning to the moral arguments which mark liberal societies. The way that deliberative democracy benefits liberal societies is that deliberation provides an educative function, as well as a way of bringing disparate communities together in realizing that they might have common ground. It also is beneficial in that it introduces an element of reason into procedures which determine the common good, which makes these procedures more legitimate. The outcomes are also based upon rationality, which makes the outcomes more legitimate as well. More than this, however, deliberative democracy recognizes that there are certain fundamental truths which should govern all reasoned discourse, these fundamental truths being such aphorisms as respect for others. In this way, deliberative democracy may benefit both state liberal societies and the international stage, which retains many of the elements of a liberal society. Discussion In order to determine the essential question of how deliberative and civil society models of democracy overcome the problems of the liberal democracy, liberal democracy must be compared and contrasted with republican democracy. According to Habermas (1994), these are the two received views of democratic politics. The liberal democratic process, according to Habermas, programs the government in line with societal interest. In this way, the government is an apparatus or tool to achieve the ends of society, and society itself it a connection between individuals. The individuals in this view band together to push government in a way that meets their collective goals. In the liberal democratic process, Habermas states that the government is a mediating process. The republic process, on the other hand, requires solidarity between the disparate groups of people. With the republican view, the different groups of society realize that they are all unified, and there is a recognition that society must be oriented towards the common good. In the democratic process, social integration is achieved through the hierarchical regulations of the state and the decentralized regulations of the market. The orientation towards the common good is the third way that social integration is achieved in the republic view of democracy. It is this horizontal method of social integration ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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