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Market, State, and CommunityTheoretical Foundations of Market Socialism$
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David Miller

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198278641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198278640.001.0001

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Politics as Dialogue

Politics as Dialogue

(p.252) 10 Politics as Dialogue
Market, State, and Community

David Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

If politics is a process whereby collective decisions are reached from an initial position of disagreement, there are two conceptions of how this should happen. Politics as interest‐aggregation looks for a procedure whereby pre‐existing preferences can be fairly aggregated (e.g. majority voting). In contrast, politics as dialogue emphasizes the giving of reasons by participants, which allows even those who disagree with the final outcome to regard it as legitimate. Arendt and Habermas present sharply opposed, but unacceptable, versions of the latter view. A more realistic alternative would involve narrowing the scope of political debate, and focusing on the conditions under which citizens are willing to set aside their personal interests in order to represent the public as a whole.

Keywords:   Hannah Arendt, citizenship, dialogue, Jürgen Habermas, Friedrich Hayek, interests, politics, Jean‐Jacques Rousseau

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