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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics Events & Colloquium

DemCP colloquium - SIMON NIEMEYER (Canberra): "Integrative deliberative reasoning and the resolution of deep differences: An empirical study of deliberation concerning immigrant street beggars in Uppsala"

When:Th 12-09-2019 16:00 - 18:00
Where:Room T10, Turftorenstraat

Politicised public discourse often creates the perception of deep difference. Certain kinds of rhetoric may frame issues in ways that induce polarization in political preferences that belie greater harmony among underlying values and beliefs. It also induces citizens to reason about issues on terms set by actors where are able to effectively frame issues in certain ways.

This presentation demonstrates how deliberation facilitates intersubjective reasoning whereby participants not only determine the framing of issues, but do so in ways that induce better integration of values and beliefs into reasoning on terms that they establish themselves. This integrative reasoning accommodates all relevant issue dimensions, and not just those made salient by manipulatory political rhetoric, identity politics or cognitive heuristics. The effect is empirically demonstrated using the example of a deliberative minipublic on the issue of street begging by internal EU migrants on the streets of Uppsala. Improved reasoning is demonstrated via the concept of Intersubjective Consistency. The approach draws on the theory of deliberative metaconsensus to assesses how well deliberators have collectively integrated all relevant issue considerations into their reasoning. In the Swedish case, deliberators began as polarised between positions driven by welfarist versus anti-immigrant perspectives. After deliberation differences remained, but reflect more issue specific dynamics and a growing desire on both sides to deal with the issue at its source rather than focussing on short term solutions. The mechanisms that induce integrative reasoning and the implications for deliberative theory and addressing contemporary democratic issues around the problem of polarization is discussed.