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Keywords:

  • House of Lords;
  • deliberative democracy;
  • legitimacy;
  • appointment;
  • election;
  • Parliament—UK

This article defends the idea of an appointed House of Lords using deliberative democratic theory. The analysis suggests that while one might well think that current appointment procedures leave much to be desired, a reformed but still appointed House of Lords would be better at maximising the deliberative democratic qualities of inclusiveness and the scrutiny of arguments than a fully elected one; indeed, that election might do actual damage. It suggests that the debate thus far has been focused too narrowly on an outdated account of democracy, and too narrowly on the peculiarities of the House of Lords in isolation from its institutional context.