Answering for Exclusion
Deliberative Democracy and the Demands of Justice
This chapter turns to deliberative democracy frameworks to further expand the meaning of accountability beyond instrumental and disciplinary approaches and to raise questions about institutional exclusions at local, national, and transnational levels. For deliberative democrats, accountability is not only about exerting control, it is also about justifying behavior: Accountability means answerability. Having to answer in deliberative publics for the consequences and rationales of one’s actions has transformative potential. It enhances the probability of realizing justice and of finding common ground. Deliberative accountability also places pressure upon the boundaries of political communities, including national ones, and demands that those whose actions affect others be compelled to justify their actions to all those affected. This all-affected principle provides considerable normative leverage against exclusive political communities, but it also poses creates impossible inclusion demands. The chapter argues that the ensuing tension should offer an opening for critical theory, a prod for innovation, and a lesson about the need for institutional humility.
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