Ross Jensen will be giving the last Grad Student Colloquium Talk of the semester on April 17th, 2019. His talk is titled "Politics is not Always All About Power". Pizza provided!
With the renewed popularity of democratic socialism in the United States, the notion that “politics is all about power” is once again in the air. If it’s true that politics is all about power—whatever exactly that means—then two of the central claims of deliberative democratic theory look suspect: namely, (i) that democratic decision-making is legitimate only if it involves certain kind of deliberation; and (ii) that democratic decision-making functions well (or best) only if it involves such deliberation. Drawing on the work of Jane Mansbridge and Frank Bryan, I argue that these claims are in fact not generally undermined by the “politics is all about power” line but that deliberative democracy likely can only thrive in a narrower range of contexts than its defenders have often supposed.