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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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Passionate Participants: Rethinking Emotion in Public Deliberation

Passionate Participants: Rethinking Emotion in Public Deliberation

(p.272) 10 Passionate Participants: Rethinking Emotion in Public Deliberation
Democracy and Expertise

Frank Fischer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores one of the most difficult questions facing citizen participation and deliberative democracy: What is the role of emotion in political deliberation and public policy? The fact that emotional passion is basic to politics is clear, but the question of how to handle it both analytically and procedurally in the deliberative process is not easy to answer. In search of a better understanding of emotion in reason and politics, the chapter examines a range of perspectives, from Aristotle's theory of rhetoric to contributions from modern neuroscience. All show emotion and reason to be tied together in a complex relationship. The insight leads to the consideration of emotional expression in terms borrowed from drama and performativity. Emotion is then explored through experiences drawn from efforts by urban planners to revitalize depressed communities. The chapter concludes by suggesting a two-step process for dealing with ‘passionate reason’.

Keywords:   policy deliberation, emotion, Aristotle, theory of rhetoric, empathy, performativity, urban planning, transformative social change

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