Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance Seminar

Expressive Deliberation

Tue 4 July 2017Speaker: Dr Jensen Sass, University of CanberraVenue: The Dryzek Room, Building 22, University of Canberra


Political theorists routinely distinguish between deliberative and non-deliberative political practices, but they have seldom examined the basis of this distinction - it is largely taken as self-evident, i.e., there are deliberative practices (which approximate the deliberative ideal) and that there are non-deliberative practices, including voting but also "everyday deeds", "direct action", and the repertoires of social movements. In this paper I suggest that there is a meaningful distinction to be drawn between deliberative and non-deliberative practices, but that it should be drawn differently. Many of the practices usually considered non-deliberative are in fact deliberative but in an expressive sense. Expressive deliberation relays normative and epistemic claims in an indirect and sometimes oblique fashion. 


Jensen Sass is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. His work at the Centre examines the way social norms and cultural meanings shape the character of deliberation within different contexts.

In addition to his work on deliberation, Jensen is undertaking a long-term project on the history of the Monsanto Company and its role in the development of agricultural biotechnology.  

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