Deliberative forms of governance are on the rise worldwide as governments, businesses and not-for-profit organisations seek to engage with their constituents. Empirical research on these deliberative experiments is beginning to emerge; with most studies focussing on how well deliberative practice lives up the ideals of deliberative democracy. Little, however, is known about how the practice of deliberative governance negotiates and accommodates different forms of power prevalent in the policy process. This is the subject of this special issue. This introductory piece provides an overview of how theories of deliberative democracy relate to both coercive ('power-over') and generative forms of power ('power-with'). Drawing on insights from the empirical research in this special issue, the paper argues that power is not necessarily a negative force for public deliberation. Indeed coercive forms of power may be needed by some marginalized groups to push their issue onto the agenda, while more generative forms of power can inspire actors to engage in collective thinking.
|Journal||Policy & Society: journal of public, foreign and global policy|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|