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Discursive Democracy
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  • Page extent: 268 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.4 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521478274 | ISBN-10: 0521478278)

In this book, John Dryzek criticizes the dominance of instrumental rationality and objectivism in political institutions and public policy and in the practice of political science. He argues that the reliance on these kinds of politics and to technocracies of expert cultures that are not only repressive, but surprisingly ill-equipped for dealing with complex social problems. Drawing on critical theory, he outlines an alternative program for the organization of political institutions advocating a form of communicatively rational democracy, which he terms discursive democracy, that stresses the importance of active citizenship and public discourse. He draws out the limitations of instrumental rationality and investigates how policy analysis and political science may be reformed to help constitute and comprehend democracy. Discursive Democracy examines how the political process can be made more vital and meaningful. At the same time it shows how such an invigorated process will serve as a more effective agent for social problem solving.


Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1. Democratizing rationality; Part II. Political Institutions: 2. Discursive designs; 3. Complexity; 4. Discursive dynamics; 5. International discursive designs (with Susan Hunter); Part III. Public Policy: 6. Policy sciences of democracy; 7. The ambitions of policy (with Brian Ripley); Part IV. Political Science: 8. The mismeasure of political man; 9. The measure of political man - and woman; 10. Progress and rationality; Part V. Conclusion: 11. On extending democracy; Notes; Bibliography; Index.


Susan Hunter, Brian Ripley

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