Deliberative Democracy, Divided Societies, and the Case of Appalachia

Deliberative Democracy, Divided Societies, and the Case of Appalachia

Date: August 2009
Creator: Tidrick, Charlee
Description: Theories of deliberative democracy, which emphasize open-mindedness and cooperative dialogue, confront serious challenges in deeply divided political populations constituted by polarized citizens unwilling to work together on issues they collectively face. The case of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia makes this clear. In my thesis, I argue that such empirical challenges are serious, yet do not compromise the normative desirability of deliberative democracy because communicative mechanisms can help transform adversarial perspectives into workable, deliberative ones. To realize this potential in divided societies, mechanisms must focus on healing and reconciliation, a point under-theorized by deliberativists who do not take seriously enough the feminist critique of public-private dualisms that illuminates political dimensions of such embodied processes. Ultimately, only a distinctly two-stage process of public deliberation in divided populations, beginning with mechanisms for healing and trust building, will give rise to the self-transformation necessary for second-stage deliberation aimed at collectively binding decisions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
JAC Audio Interview: Ernesto Laclau

JAC Audio Interview: Ernesto Laclau

Date: 1999
Creator: Worsham, Lynn
Description: JAC interview of Ernesto Laclau discussing hegemony and democracy in relation to writing, philosophy, and rhetoric.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
JAC Audio Interview: Chantal Mouffe

JAC Audio Interview: Chantal Mouffe

Date: 1999
Creator: Worsham, Lynn
Description: JAC interview of Chantal Mouffe discussing political theory in relation to writing, philosophy, and rhetoric.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Existential Political Theory of Dostoevsky

The Existential Political Theory of Dostoevsky

Date: December 1971
Creator: Lewis, Darrell W.
Description: The problem undertaken is a study of the political philosophy of Fyodor Dostoevsky to determine to what extent Dostoevsky was a political thinker.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Political Theory of Ayn Rand

The Political Theory of Ayn Rand

Date: December 1971
Creator: Gose, Barbara Baker
Description: The problem undertaken in this thesis is a study of Ayn Rand's political theory as presented in her writings. Rand considers herself both a novelist and a philosopher; her writings are not primarily political in nature. Thus, compiling her political philosophy requires an interpretation of her views on all subjects.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Political Theory of John F. Kennedy

The Political Theory of John F. Kennedy

Date: January 1968
Creator: Arndt, Eileen L.
Description: This thesis is an attempt to reveal John F. Kennedy, the politician, as a political theorist. Kennedy's philosophy was the underlying current for all his political action, and in the test of time and history, the measurement of his success is more likely to be weighted in favor of his political theory than in favor of his political accomplishments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries