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comm3210rdg#3-18 - A HABERMASIAN ANALYSIS OF THE...

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A HABERMASIAN ANALYSIS OF THE DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRATIC POTENTIAL OF ICT-ENABLED SERVICES IN SWEDISH MUNICIPALITITIES Wiklund Keywords - Deliberative democracy - Democratic renewal - E-government - ICT-enabled public services - Municipal websites Introduction - Support for democratic ideals strongly enforced in western political system - However, the institutions that are supposed to embody these ideals show signs of crisis - Paradoxical situation highlights: o The importance of democratic renewal – theoretically and empirically - Theoretic level o Deliberative democratic ideal and its communicative reformulation of the democratic vision represent an alternative to the dominant liberal tradition - Practical level o Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have changed the organizational preconditions of democratic governance in important ways - Variety of models and initiatives aimed at improving the deliberative qualities of democratic governance by utilizing ICTs have emerged o Focuses on digital democracy in terms of the deliberative qualities of the public sphere A DELIBERATIVE CONCEPTION OF DEMOCRATIC POLITICS - Habermas discursive model of deliberative democracy - Formulates an alternative notion of democratic politics - Elements of the liberal and reublican tradition in political theory - Incorporates these elements in a communicative framework The liberal tradition: politics as a ‘market’ - Liberal tradition typically characterizes politics as: o Private in nature o Instrumental in purpose - Political actors: o Conceived as consumers o Assumed to enter the political arena with pre politically formed private interest o Supposed to be self interested and strategically oriented o Viewed as independent in the political arena - This conception of political actors leads to an understanding of political practice as: o A competitive enterprise – a “market” o A struggle between self interested political actors with politically formed interests who act strategically in order to achieve their private goals and
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preferences - As a result, political participation is conceived of as purely instrumental o As a means of satisfying non political ends o Market approach to politics implies that an absence of participation is something positive - Political practice is depicted as: o A struggle between opposed private interests o Thus, democracy becomes an instruments for the aggregation of self interested political actors’ private inters into social choices - Democratic institutions are justified on the grounds that they enable a fair and efficient aggregation of private interest into collective choices - Democratic legitimacy stems from: o The preservation of the individual freedom of the political actor o The non interference with their interests The republican tradition: politics as a ‘forum’ - In contrast, the republican tradition characterizes politics as: o Public in nature o Non instrumental in purpose - Pictures politics: o Not as a market but as a forum - Political actors: o
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