Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A Double Edged Sword: The Increasing Diversity of Deliberative Democracy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephen ElstubORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


As the theory of deliberative democracy becomes increasingly popular, it also becomes an increasingly diverse and flexible theory. This diversity could be a double edged sword; on the one hand this dexterity enables deliberative democracy to become more engrossing, comprehensive and relevant to more and more democratic, philosophical and practical issues. On the other hand deliberative democracy can start to be everything to everyone and lose an essence and core set of ideas. The paper highlights the diversity deliberative democracy is gaining in areas of justification, on the nature of public reason and over mechanisms for institutionalisation. Although the paper accepts that deliberative democracy is necessarily an ‘essentially contested concept’ and ‘morphological’ it also attempts to offer a broad and loose core to provide some boundaries to interpretations, to prevent the theory becoming meaningless though diversity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elstub S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Contemporary Politics

Year: 2006

Volume: 12

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 301-319

Print publication date: 01/09/2006

Online publication date: 04/12/2010

Date deposited: 02/03/2016

ISSN (print): 1356-9775

ISSN (electronic): 1469-3631

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080=13569770601086204


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric