in: Oxford scholarship online
Deliberative democracy has challenged two widely-accepted nostrums about democratic politics: that people lack the capacities for effective self-government; and that democratic procedures are arbitrary and do not reflect popular will; indeed, that the idea of popular will is itself illusory. On the contrary, deliberative democrats have shown that people are capable of being sophisticated, creative problem solvers, given the right opportunities in the right kinds of democratic institutions. But deliberative empirical research has its own problems. In this text two leading deliberative scholars review decades of that research and reveal three important issues.