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Divided Societies and Deliberative Democracy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2007

IAN O'FLYNN
Affiliation:
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Abstract

Comparative scholars have disagreed for some time now as to whether democratic institutions in a divided society are more likely to remain stable if those institutions are premised on a concern for inclusion or on a concern for moderation. But since the empirical evidence marshalled by such scholars is often open to interpretative dispute, neither side has been able to prove its case conclusively. In order to help move this stability debate forward, this article demonstrates how inclusion and moderation can be recast as co-requirements of an underlying principle of political equality. To this end, it offers a deliberative democratic account of political equality, expressed in terms of requirements of publicity and reciprocity, that enables us to see how inclusion and moderation might be reconciled. Moreover, it shows how this deliberative reconciliation may itself provide for a more effective form of institutional stability than can be achieved under either of the two main contending comparative approaches.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
© 2007 Cambridge University Press

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