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Radical Proceduralism: Democracy from Philosophical Principles to Political Institutions

Dannica Fleuß
Helmut Schmidt University, Germany

Product Details
30 Jun 2021
Emerald Publishing Limited
236 pages - 152 x 229mm


Democratic politics depend on citizen participation, trust and support. While this support in democratic institutions and political elites is declining, public and scholarly discourse frequently suggests counteracting the challenge by strengthening the role of experts in political decision-making, yet such reform proposals convey a paternalistic threat that contravenes fundamental democratic principles.

Proposing an alternative, ‘radical proceduralist’ understanding of democratic legitimacy and institutional reform, Radical Proceduralism argues that there is no such thing as ‘political truth’ or ‘correctness’ that could justify experts wielding political power. Rather, the only criterion for democratic legitimacy is the fair and equal inclusion of all affected citizens.

Radical Proceduralism bridges the gap between political philosophy and practical institutional experimentation asking us to bring citizens back in and to engage them in a dialogue about ‘the rules of the democratic game’ and proposing institutional devices that figure as ‘conversation starters’ and facilitate such dialogues.
Introduction: Democratic Legitimacy, Democratic Crises, Everyday (Political) Practice 
Chapter 1. Bridging the Gap between Principles and Institutions: Meta-Theoretical and Methodological Considerations 
Chapter 2. Procedure, Substance, Democratic Legitimacy: A Framework for the Debate 
Chapter 3. Two Forms of Proceduralism: Rawls’s and Habermas’s Theories of Democratic Legitimacy 
Chapter 4. Normative Proceduralism and Its Limitations in ‘Post-Metaphysical’ Political Theory 
Chapter 5. Radical Proceduralist Ideals: A Discursive Account 
Chapter 6. Institutional Designs as Conversation Starter: Ask Citizens, not Philosophers!  
Chapter 7. Conclusion: Democratic Institutions for Radical Proceduralists and Other Citizens
Dannica Fleuß is a postdoctoral research fellow and lecturer in political theory at Helmut Schmidt University (Hamburg) and a research associate at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance (University of Canberra). She is also a co-convenor of the Political Studies Association's Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group and a member of the Switzerland-based DemocracyNet.

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