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Democratic Equality$
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James Lindley Wilson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691190914

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691190914.001.0001

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Democratic Deliberation

Democratic Deliberation

(p.143) Chapter Six Democratic Deliberation
Democratic Equality

James Lindley Wilson

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how the requirement of appropriate consideration regulates institutions and practices of political deliberation. These institutions and practices do not directly determine what the political community will do, as legislation does, but they shape the character of these decisions. Accordingly, they determine in significant part whether the regime is truly democratic. The chapter also critiques a family of views that claim fair deliberation requires equality of influence among citizens. The most basic problem with these views is their narrow conception of citizens' interests in fair deliberation. This narrowness leads the views to largely ignore a variety of affective, unconscious, arbitrary, and discriminatory ways in which citizens respond to efforts at influence. By contrast, the appropriate-consideration conception of political equality properly responds to the plurality of citizens' deliberative interests. The chapter then suggests what appropriate consideration requires of common deliberation, and how people should vary the scope and character of the consideration granted to different citizen judgments under different circumstances. These requirements attend both to individuals' claims for direct hearings for their views, and to broader concerns about a fair structure for synthesizing the various and conflicting judgments rendered by different citizens.

Keywords:   appropriate consideration, political deliberation, political community, democratic regime, fair deliberation, political equality, common deliberation, citizen judgments

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