A Death Blow to Pure Proceduralism in Deliberative Systems: The Problem of Prerequisites

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Abstract

Deliberative democracy contains a theory of legitimacy. One of its versions is pure proceduralism, according to which the principles establishing terms of political cooperation in deliberative systems should inform mainly the process of deliberation and no additional substantive elements, except to the extent that they are necessary for a fair process. This paper shows that pure proceduralism faces the ‘problem of prerequisites’. It consists in the fact that, even if pure proceduralism may be a criterion of legitimacy, the legitimacy of pure proceduralism as a source of subsequent legitimacy is not grounded in deliberative procedures. The problem comprises two arguments: the argument from the prerequisite of procedural membership (the establishment of
membership rights to procedures must be immune to deliberation); and the argument from the prerequisite of procedural ruling (the rule establishing the quantitative threshold from which a decision is reached must be immune to deliberation).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-72
Number of pages20
JournalEleuthería. Revista do Curso de Filosofia (UFMS)
Volume3
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Deliberative Democracy
  • Legitimacy
  • Membership
  • Pure proceduralism
  • Prerequisites

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