This chapter retraces the place of power in the normative theory of deliberative democracy. It describes deliberative democracy’s ambivalent relationship with power—it promises to humble coercive forms of power, yet it produces its own, productive form of power for this, which does not always come without problems.
The chapter thus explores the nuances of both coercive and productive forms of power, responds to critiques of deliberative theory as either powerless or too powerful, and introduces a typology of deliberative democracy’s relationship with four different types of power, to culminate in a theory of deliberative power that centres on the power of justification to curb and legitimate uses of power in an inevitably imperfect world.
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