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Towards a Deliberative and Associational Democracy$
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Stephen Elstub

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627394

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627394.001.0001

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Avoiding the Mischief of Factionalism

Avoiding the Mischief of Factionalism

(p.213) 6 Avoiding the Mischief of Factionalism
Towards a Deliberative and Associational Democracy

Stephen Elstub

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter defends associational democracy against one of its most famous criticisms, Madison’s ‘mischief of factionalism’. In doing this, it clearly distinguishes the deliberative and associational model of democracy from neo-pluralist and republican conceptions. The chapter suggests that a truly democratic conception of the common good can only be formed through deliberative democracy. However, it further distinguishes between the consensus and agonistic models of deliberative democracy. The chapter argues in favour of the agonistic model because a common good cannot always be presumed; because difference is an essential resource, so should not always be eliminated; and because a focus upon the common good can allow dominant social groups to disguise their particular arguments.

Keywords:   associational democracy, deliberative democracy, common good, dominant social groups

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