Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Deliberative Democracy and Divided Societies$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ian O'Flynn

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621446

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621446.001.0001

Show Summary Details

The Requirement of Reciprocity

The Requirement of Reciprocity

(p.77) Chapter 4 The Requirement of Reciprocity
Deliberative Democracy and Divided Societies

Ian O'flynn

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores the requirement of reciprocity in greater detail, especially with respect to its implications for democracy in divided societies. More specifically, its purpose is to explore this requirement with respect to the task of creating the kinds of shareable goods that could potentially lead citizens to experience a stronger sense of common national identity. It starts by comparing and contrasting the requirement of reciprocity with three alternative methods by which political disagreements might potentially be resolved: force, bargaining and voting. Although each of those alternative forms certainly has its place within a democratic process, reciprocity is nevertheless essential to dealing with the problems that divided societies typically face. The chapter then considers how, by constraining the kinds of reasons that might be advanced for or against a proposed law or public policy, reciprocity can help express our equal membership in the polity. In so doing, it can aid in creating the kinds of shareable goods that could provide the basis for a stronger sense of common national identity. Finally, it explores the content of the reasons that might meet this requirement. The approach taken is basically Rawlsian in that it stresses the importance of appealing to general political principles and values when justifying proposals.

Keywords:   reciprocity, democracy, divided societies, national identity, force, bargaining, voting

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.