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Deliberating in the Real WorldProblems of Legitimacy in Deliberative Democracy$
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John Parkinson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/019929111X.001.0001

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Reason and Persuasion

Reason and Persuasion

(p.124) 6 Reason and Persuasion
Deliberating in the Real World

John Parkinson

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the definition of rationality is a major source of disagreement over the legitimacy of decision making processes. It draws attention to battles over competing problem definitions and agendas as a means of controlling debate, and the failure of micro-deliberative processes to handle such battles. It identifies the rhetorical devices used by deliberators to persuade their external audiences, and the impact these have on the rationality of the process. It argues that the more decisive a process is, the more it will attract publicity and the more inclusive it will be, but also the greater the incentives are to act strategically.

Keywords:   deliberative democracy, rationality, rhetoric, persuasion, strategy, decisiveness, publicity, National Health Service, problem definition, agenda setting

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