Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism? by CHANTAL MOUFFE

By CHANTAL MOUFFE

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3 between causal and constitutive argument, and note that while these can both claim to be realistic, their modes of reasoning are distinct. The “empirical” claims of constitutive argument are very general propositions about, for instance, the trade-off between the extent and the intensiveness of political participation. This does not make them immune to systematic investigation, but it does separate arguments such as Tocqueville’s from those of researchers like Almond who seek to establish causal relationships by correlating attitude survey data with democratic stability.

17 Thus, Rousseau’s advocacy of democracy, an inspiration to present-day advocates of greater democratic participation, was tempered, to put it mildly, by his aversion to urbane intellectual culture and his fondness—perhaps nostalgia—for the simple, rural, and practical life. He perceived dangers in the spread of knowledge and risks in its acquisition by those not “worthy” of it. In fact, Rousseau’s doctrine of the “general will,” despite locating sovereignty in the people, did not differ as much from the ideas of Plato as this fact would suggest.

3 of the nature of democracy theory itself, that is, its constitutive, causal, and normative aspects. 2, the theme of the cognitive dimension of democracy. Despite the fact that Dahl is the author of one of the most widely cited programmatic statements of the empirical-normative distinction as a basis of behavioral political analysis, his own work in democratic theory confounds this simple dichotomy. Like Schumpeter, Dahl aspires to be “realistic,” but he does not set up any opposition between reality and ideals; rather, his aim is to distinguish realistic from unrealistic ideals.

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