P1: Consensus and deliberative decision-making
In ideal political deliberation, every participant is on an equal footing, able to consider everyone’s beliefs purely on their merits, and willing to adapt their views in response to reasons. It is, therefore, natural to conceive of deliberation as aiming at consensus, and as offering a procedural improvement over the pure aggregation of preferences in a majority vote. Yet the reasons why we should aim at consensus at all have not been investigated.
This research area connects the question of what makes consensus attractive in normative theory with empirical investigations of participants’ actual motives and their behavior under various procedures for producing and ratifying consensus. It links consensus-orientation with decision rules in theoretical and (field-study and experimental) empirical research in economics, international and democratic politics, and political theory.
- To determine the importance of consensus under different decision rules using empirical fieldwork, experiments and theoretical reflection.
- To investigate how endogenous rule-setting, in committing to one among a number of variants of consensual decision-making, affects participants’ attitudes towards reaching consensus.
- To explore the effect of unicameral and multi-cameral (e.g. two-stage) decision-making on the value that participants place on the procedure and outcome (rightness, problem-solving, compliance).
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