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Solidarity Across DividesPromoting the Moral Point of View$
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George Vasilev

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748697304

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748697304.001.0001

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Consensus Across Deep Difference

Consensus Across Deep Difference

(p.171) 6 Consensus Across Deep Difference
Solidarity Across Divides

George Vasilev

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 6 reflects on and defends the book’s central claim that the deliberative approach offers the most appealing framework for the democratic expression of solidarity. It does so against agonistic assertions that deliberative democracy’s focus on the attainment of consensus takes away from the egalitarian expression of diversity. It is argued that a complete rejection of consensus is both unsustainable and undesirable from the very pluralist perspective agonists seek to uphold. In the place of agonists’ wholesale rejection of consensus, the chapter puts forward a conceptualisation of consensus that conceives it as a matter of degree. This conceptualisation not only better captures the complexity of human relations. It also allows us to distinguish the potential accomplishments of aspiring towards consensus from the potential hazards.

Keywords:   Deliberative democracy, Agonism, Consensus, Conflict transformation, Hegemony, Habermas, Mouffe

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