The Rule of Reasons. Three Models of Deliberative Democracy



In this paper, the author contrasts three models of deliberative democracy: a liberal one, a communitarian one, and an alternative to both. Rather than understanding deliberative democracy as the rule of principles of justice or of communal values, the third model conceives of it as the “rule of reasons.” On the basis of a discussion of seven components of an “ethos of democracy” (the cognitive capacities of citizens, political virtues, the cultural, institutional and material conditions of democracy, political legitimacy, and the “ground” of democracy), the third view, which is based on a theory of moral and political justification, emerges as superior.