The Ends of Deliberation: Meta-consensus and Inter-subjective Rationality as Ideal Outcomes

Authors

  • Simon Niemeyer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Australian National University
      Department of Political Science, RSSS, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT Australia 0200. Phone: +661 2 6125 3605; Email: simon.niemeyer@aanu.edu.au
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    • Simon Niemeyer is an Australian Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University, where he is also a member of the Deliberative Democracy Research Group. His main current research focus concerns the micro-politics of deliberation and the application of empirical methods for understanding deliberative democracy in action. He has also conducted research in to environmental administration, nvironmental conomics and ublic responses to limate hange.

  • John S. Dryzek

    Corresponding author
    1. Australian National University
      Department of Political Science, RSSS, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT Australia 0200. Phone: +661 2 6125 2176; Email: jdryzek@coombs.aanu.edu.au
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    • John Dryzek is Professor of Political Science in the Research School of Social Sciences at Australian National University. He is the author of several books on democracy and related topics, including most recently Deliberative Global Politics: Discourse and Democracy in a Divided World (Polity Press, 2006).


Department of Political Science, RSSS, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT Australia 0200. Phone: +661 2 6125 3605; Email: simon.niemeyer@aanu.edu.au

Department of Political Science, RSSS, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT Australia 0200. Phone: +661 2 6125 2176; Email: jdryzek@coombs.aanu.edu.au

Abstract

Normative deliberative theory has contributed much to an understanding of ideal procedural standards, but there is considerable uncertainty regarding the appropriate nature of desired deliberative outcomes. In this paper we identify two inter-related concepts of meta-consensus and inter-subjective rationality as outcomes that an authentic deliberative process ought to produce. Importantly, these deliberative ends are consistent with ideal deliberative procedure. They are also empirically tractable, where preference transformation can be described in terms of underlying values, and judgments. Methods for assessing deliberative ends are provided and demonstrated using a case study.

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