Democratic deliberation and cultural rights: the Orange Order march at Drumcree

Shane O'Neill

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    Deliberative models of democracy tie political legitimacy to the achievement of reasoned agreements. 1 Citizens bring a diversity of perspectives to public debate and in the encounter with others they seek mutual understanding so that they can think of the laws that emerge from their deliberations as shared rules they give to one another as a self-regulating legal community. One of the main advantages of deliberative models, therefore, is that legitimate decisions are conceived as the outcome of a process of open and inclusive public dialogue that takes place under conditions of fairness. Rival models of democracy that are based on bargaining, as opposed to the quest for mutual understanding, tend not to distinguish adequately between fair compromises and those bargains that reflect a relation of power. If bargaining positions are unequal, those who occupy the less advantaged positions will eventually feel forced into a compromise. Not only is the outcome unstable, since power relations can change, but it is unfair, since the interests of some citizens have been allowed to count for more than those of others. For this reason outcomes that are based on the force of argument alone as it emerges through public deliberation provide a more just and stable basis for a democratic community.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDemocracy as Public Deliberation
    EditorsMaurizio d'Entreves
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Electronic)9780203793541
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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