Deliberative Freedom: Deliberative Democracy As Critical by Christian F. Rostboll

By Christian F. Rostboll

The 1st sustained examine the connection among deliberative democratic idea and the subject of freedom.

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Indeed, one aim of deliberation should be for citizens to become more aware of and concerned with the satisfaction of their own interests. ”34 It is possible for someone to be too altruistic or to lack understanding of what is in her own interest. Deliberation ideally helps one clarify one’s 30 Deliberative Freedom interests, knowing how they can be met, and ascertaining to what extent it is just for one to have them satisfied. Injustice is not always the consequence of people being partial to themselves but also can be a result of being so against themselves.

The objection would then be that promoting deliberation would open up for more manipulation. But this objection also would miss the point of the deliberative project, or at least of the project as I conceive it. 6 Rather, the call should exactly be for more deliberation. And to call for more deliberation is to call for less distorted communication. Deliberation should not be defined as “the endogenous change of preferences resulting from communication,” as Stokes does,7 since this definition excludes the possibility of differentiating different forms of communication and hence overlooks the very point of the deliberative model.

My point is not that we should give up on the protection of negative freedom per se, but rather that it is not an uncontroversial question what that means and that it therefore must be subject to deliberative scrutiny and democratic legitimation. In the negative freedom tradition it is assumed that by defining certain limits to the scope of political decisions or to protect a certain area from political interference, people are equally free to lead their lives as they like. This strategy leads to the depoliticization of certain spheres of life.

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