Between Decision and Deliberation: Political Paradox in Democratic Theory

  title={Between Decision and Deliberation: Political Paradox in Democratic Theory},
  author={Bonnie Honig},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={1 - 17}
  • B. Honig
  • Published 1 February 2007
  • Political Science
  • American Political Science Review
Deliberative democratic theorists (in this essay, Seyla Benhabib and Jurgen Habermas) seek to resolve, manage, or transcend paradoxes of democratic legitimation or constitutional democracy. Other democratic theorists, such as Chantal Mouffe, embrace such paradoxes and affirm their irreducibility. Deliberativists call that position “decisionism.” This essay examines the promise and limits of these various efforts by way of a third paradox: Rousseau's paradox of politics, whose many workings are… Expand
The constitutional paradox of complex diversity: A systemic path towards political integration through deliberation
Identity and democracy and, more particularly, national identity and deliberative democracy account for a controversial relationship. However, from a classical deliberative democratic point of view,Expand
Deliberative democracy and the realist recovery of politics
This thesis is an attempt to synthesise two streams of political thought previously conducted in isolation from one another: political realism and the theory of deliberative democracy. The thesisExpand
Paradoxes of Popular Sovereignty: A View from Spanish America
Democratic theorists agree that in a democracy the people should be sovereign. However, they cannot give democratically acceptable criteria for telling who precisely the people are. According to someExpand
Schmitt’s democratic dialectic: On the limits of democracy as a value
In this essay, I attempt to measure various prevailing democratic theories against an argument that Carl Schmitt advances in the first chapter of his ‘Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy’. In practice,Expand
The Agony of the Democratic Paradox
Against Jürgen Habermas, Chantal Mouffe insists that there is no necessary conceptual relation between democracy and human rights but only a contingent historical relation. Moreover, these principlesExpand
Why democracy must be global: self-founding and democratic intervention
Globalization, foreign intervention, and failed states have drawn new attention to theoretical issues of how political orders and communities can be legitimately founded, and what it means for aExpand
Critical republicanism: Jürgen Habermas and Chantal Mouffe
Jürgen Habermas’s theory of ‘discourse ethics’ has been an important source of inspiration for theories of deliberative democracy and is typically contrasted with agonistic conceptions of democracyExpand
Between conflict and consensus: Why democracy needs conflicts and why communities should delimit their intensity
  • Sz. Horváth
  • Political Science
  • Zeitschrift für kritische Sozialtheorie und Philosophie
  • 2018
Abstract The contemporary agonist thinker, Chantal Mouffe argues that conflicts are constitutive of politics. However, this position raises the question that concerns the survival of order and theExpand
Radically Rethinking Citizenship: Disaggregation, Agonistic Pluralism and the Politics of Immigration in the United States
The status of citizenship and the rights extended to non-citizens are among the most contentious and hotly debated political issues in numerous Western polities. Some scholars, most notably SeylaExpand
On the Demos and Its Kin: Nationalism, Democracy, and the Boundary Problem
  • A. Abizadeh
  • Political Science
  • American Political Science Review
  • 2012
Cultural–nationalist and democratic theory both seek to legitimize political power via collective self-rule: Their principle of legitimacy refers right back to the very persons over whom politicalExpand


Democracy in Question: Democratic Openness in a Time of Political Closure
This book explores the theoretical paradoxes and practical dilemmas that flow from the still radical idea that in a democracy it is the people who rule, and argues that accepting the open andExpand
Constitutionalism and Democracy: Precommitment and the paradox of democracy
Il est absurde que la volonte se donne des chaines pour l'avenir. Rousseau Laurence Tribe opens his influential treatise on constitutional law with a concise formulation of the countermajoritarianExpand
The Limits and Possibilities of Communicative Ethics for Democratic Theory
ROUSSEAU'S BELIEF THAT political rationality requires democratic participation appears quaint by the lights of contemporary rational choice theory. Democracy, we are told, seldom if ever generatesExpand
Brennan and Democracy
In "Brennan and Democracy," a leading thinker in U.S. constitutional law offers some powerful reflections on the idea of "constitutional democracy," a concept in which many have seen the makings ofExpand
  • C. Mouffe
  • Political Science
  • The Licit Life of Capitalism
  • 2019
Since September 11th, we frequently hear that political differences should be put aside: the real struggle is between good and evil. What does this mean for political and social life? Is there aExpand
The Aporia of Sovereignty: On the Representation of the People in Constitutional Discourse
I Pierre Rosanvalon's political history of France, an absence haunts the history of democratic representation Democracy and popular sovereignty have represented for two centuries "l'horizon évidentExpand
Using Habermas' theory of communicative action and his remarks on the legitimacy of the state under modern social conditions as a starting point, I combine normative democratic theory with theExpand
The Democratic Paradox
From the theory of 'deliberative democracy' to the politics of the 'third way', the present Zeitgeist is characterized by attempts to deny what Chantal Mouffe contends is the inherently conflictualExpand
Constitutional Failure: Carl Schmitt in Weimar
Constitutional Failure is a major contribution to studies of the German political philosopher Carl Schmitt (1888–1985), the Weimar Republic, and the relationship of constitutionalism, politicalExpand
Freedom and Time: A Theory of Constitutional Self-Government
Should we try to live in the present? Such is the imperative of modernity, Jed Rubenfeld writes in this important and original work of political theory. Since Jefferson proclaimed that 'the earthExpand