T03P09 - Authoritarian Deliberation Revisited: What Does It Mean for Our Understanding of Democratic Governance?

Topic : Policy and Politics sponsored by Policy & Politics Journal

Panel Chair : Hendrik Wagenaar - h.wagenaar@sheffield.ac.uk

Panel Second Chair : Baogang He - baogang.he@deakin.edu.au

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

In this panel a selection of papers may be considered for the Policy & Politics journal.



In 2011 Mark Warren and Baogang He introduced the concept of ‘authoritarian deliberation’. Their paper and the ideas it contained were path-breaking in several respects. They demonstrated that democratic deliberation not only happened as a civil society subversive act within a politically authoritarian setting such as China, but that it was in fact promoted by the party as a strategy of (local) governance. The paper also showed that democratic process is not an all-or-nothing, universalistic affair, but that a working democracy must be seen as an uneasy and unstable assemblage of democratic (public participation, democratic deliberation) and repressive (disempowerment of marginal groups, erosion of human rights) elements against the background of different economic, political and cultural developments, some of which (such as political despotism or corporate hegemony) are in direct conflict with the ideal of democracy. Third, the paper situated this democratic assemblage firmly within processes of governance. That is, the concerted action of state and non-state actors gives rise to the complex and constantly evolving mixes of democracy and authoritarianism that we witness in most countries. Finally, the paper forced observers to take a diachronic view of democracy. Democracies continuously develop. In terms of Dryzek’s criteria of franchise, scope and authenticity, they improve or they regress. In this panel we will explore these theoretical implications. We invite empirical studies of democratic governance in despotic or hegemonic settings, as well as more theoretical papers about democratic assemblage in a variety of political and economic settings.



Call for papers

We invite both empirical and theoretical papers about forms and democratic governance (democratic deliberation, public participation, 'tolerated' political protest) in 'undemocratic' settings. Such settings can be authoritarian political systems or liberal democracies in which democratic governance is used as an instrumental or expedient tool by political elites. In our panel we want to explore the hybrid nature of democratic governance in a world that is dominated by neoliberal rationality and despotism, as forms of political-economic organisation that are no longer bound by national boundaries. 

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