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Deliberation and Democracy: Innovative Processes and Institutions

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Edited By Stephen Coleman, Anna Przybylska and Yves Sintomer

As our experience regarding the practice of deliberation grows, the position from which we evaluate it, and the criteria of this evaluation, change. This book presents a synthesis of recent research that has brought detailed and robust results. Its first section concerns contemporary challenges and new approaches to the public sphere. The second focuses on the Deliberative Poll as a specific deliberative technique and compares findings emanating from this practice in various political and cultural contexts. The third section addresses the challenge of determining what constitutes deliberative quality. Finally, the last section discusses democratic deliberation and deliberative democracy as they relate to the complex challenges of contemporary politics.
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Kees Brants - Chapter Four. The Demise of a Deliberative Dream? Challenging the Mission of Public Service Broadcasting in Europe

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Kees Brants

Chapter Four. The Demise of a Deliberative Dream? Challenging the Mission of Public Service Broadcasting in Europe

Introduction

Like so many political morality tales, this one is about democracy and how, in a globalized world, with the economy in a state of collapse and citizens more and more distrusting authorities in general and the political elite in particular, a platform for equal and meaningful deliberation seems ever so necessary. The more direct a democracy, the more vital is public deliberation for opinion formation and collective decision making. For individual citizens to actively participate, knowledge through (permanent) education is a precondition, because it allows for an informed citizenry which can engage in synergetic and meaningful discussion. Having equal access to deliberation, sharing arguments on the basis of a critical and rational debate, discussing openly a plurality of points of view with mutual understanding and the common interest in mind, and learning from each other’s ideas by being open to them, all these qualities resonate with the ideas of the Enlightenment.

Central to the modern versions of the deliberative model of democracy is often the notion of the public sphere, especially as developed and propagated by Jürgen Habermas in his influential Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit (1962), which twenty seven years after its German publication was translated as the Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (1989). In the English language, the book and concept went on to conquer the western...

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