Addressing the Citizenship and Democratic Deficits: The Potential of Deliberative Democracy for Public Administration

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133 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article reviews and synthesizes diverse streams of literature to assess the potential of deliberative democracy for American public administration. It asserts that the field should refocus its attention on the role of citizens in the work of government to help address the pervasive citizenship and democratic deficits in the United States. American public administration has an obligation to address these deficits because (a) it is required to do so by democratic ethos, (b) it has contributed to the deficits with its widespread embrace of bureaucratic ethos, and (c) it must find ways to effectively engage citizens within modern network and collaborative governance structures. This article identifies deliberative democracy as one potential method to help fulfill these obligations and explains how deliberative processes may help address the deficit problems. The article concludes by identifying a preliminary research agenda for exploring the potential of deliberative democracy for public administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-399
Number of pages24
JournalThe American Review of Public Administration
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • bureaucratic ethos
  • citizenship deficits
  • deliberative democracy
  • democratic deficits
  • democratic ethos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

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