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Democracy and ExpertiseReorienting Policy Inquiry$
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Frank Fischer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282838

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282838.001.0001

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Deliberative Empowerment: The Cultural Politics of Discursive Space

Deliberative Empowerment: The Cultural Politics of Discursive Space

(p.245) 9 Deliberative Empowerment: The Cultural Politics of Discursive Space
Democracy and Expertise

Frank Fischer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes up the design of deliberative fora. It begins by introducing the influential theory of ‘empowered participatory governance’ put forward by Fung and Wright, which is seen to focus mainly on procedural and material factors. It argues that enabling participation requires more attention to the underlying social conditions necessary for participatory deliberation to work. Drawing on contributions from postmodern cultural politics, as well as experiences from participatory research, democratic structures and procedures are seen to offer an opening for participatory empowerment, but cannot in and of themselves ensure authentic deliberation. Deeper political and social-psychological factors related to the intersubjective aspects of participation are involved as well. The argument is illustrated through a several theoretical and practical contributions, including a more detailed analysis of the ‘People's Planning Campaign’ in Kerala, India.

Keywords:   Fung and Wright, discursive space, empowered participatory governance, social identity, postmodern cultural politics, intersubjectivity, Kerala, social movements, critical pedagogy, local knowledge

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