Deliberative democracy is a term used by political theoristss, e.g. Jon Elster, to refer to any system of political decisions based on some tradeoff of consensus decision making and representative democracy.
It is usually associated with left-wing politics and often recognizes a conflict of interest between the citizen participating, those affected or victimized by the process being undertaken, and the group-entity that organizes the decision. Thus it usually involves an extensive outreach effort to include marginalized, isolated, ignored groups in decisions, and to extensively document dissent, grounds for dissent, and future predictions of consequences of actions. It focuses as much on the process as the results. In this form it is a complete theory of civics.
A claimed strength of deliberative democratic models is that they are more easily able to incorporate scientific opinion and base policy on outputs of ongoing research, because:
- time is given for all participants to understand and discuss the science
- scientific peer review, adversarial presentation of competing arguments, refereed journals, even betting markets, are also deliberative processes.
- the technology used to record dissent and document opinions opposed to the majority is also useful to notarize bets, predictions and claims.
(stub, should contain more on Elder's model, Nader's Concord Principles etc.)