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Democratic Autonomy Public Reasoning about the Ends of Policy

ISBN-10: 0195150910

ISBN-13: 9780195150919

Edition: 2002

Authors: Henry S. Richardson, Henry Richardson

List price: $41.95
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What would our decision-making procedures look like if they were actually guided by the much-discussed concept of "deliberative democracy"? What does rule by the people for the people entail? And how can a modern government's reliance on administrative agencies be reconciled with this populist ideal? What form must democratic reasoning take in the modern administrative state? Democratic Autonomy squarely faces these challenges to the deliberative democratic ideal. It identifies processes of reasoning that avert bureaucratic domination and bring diverse people into political agreement. To bridge our differences intelligently, Richardson argues, we cannot rely on instrumentalist approaches to policy reasoning, such as cost-benefit analysis. Instead, citizens must arrive at reasonable compromises through fair, truth-oriented processes of deliberation. Using examples from programs as diverse as disability benefits and environmental regulation, he shows how the administrative policy-making necessary to carrying out most legislation can be part of our deciding what to do. Opposing both those liberal theorists who have attacked the populist ideal and those neo-republican theorists who have given up on it, Richardson builds an account of popular rule that is sensitive to the challenges to public deliberation that arise from relying on liberal constitutional guarantees, representative institutions, majority rule, and administrative rulemaking. Written in a non- technical style and engaged with practical issues of everyday politics, this highly original and rigorous restatement of what democracy entails is essential reading for political theorists, philosophers, public choice theorists, constitutional and administrative lawyers, and policy analysts.
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Book details

List price: $41.95
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/4/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 328
Size: 9.09" wide x 6.10" long x 0.98" tall
Weight: 1.012
Language: English

Henry S. Richardsonis Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University and Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Why Public Reasoning?
Freedom and Legitimacy
Three Conceptions of Nonarbitrariness
The Case for a Qualified Populism
Democratic Rule Must Be Reasoned
Equality in a Deliberative Democracy
The Nature of Public Reasoning
Types of Practical Reasoning
The Naivete of Agency Instrumentalism
The Stupidity of the Cost-Benefit Standard
Truth and Delegated Deliberation
Deep Compromise
Forging Joint Intentions and Shared Ends
Instituting Public Reasoning
The Public
Representative Government
Majority Rule As a Closure Device
Democratic Rulemaking
The Democratic Treatment of Risk