Political Conflict and Political Preferences
Communicative Interaction Between Facts, Norms and Interests
What is the effect of deliberation on political actors and when can we expect it to be successful? Are mutual understanding and consensus realistic results of political decision-making processes or is compromise the most we can hope for? This book addresses what appear to be blind spots in theories of deliberative democracy: the conceptual and empirical relationship between communication and political preferences and the institutional preconditions for preference change and co-ordination. It proposes a model of preference transformation through communication and develops a typology of modes of political interaction that distinguishes discussion, deliberation, debate and bargaining. This serves as a framework for the analysis of a fundamental and highly polarising conflict - the German decision over the import of embryonic stem cells. Analysis of communicative interaction in different forums shows how a well justified and widely accepted compromise was achieved in a conflict that had appeared irresolvable in moral terms and irreducible in terms of interest.
Claudia Landwehr is a Schumpeter Fellow at the Institute of Political Science at the Goethe-University Frankfurt / Main. She has previously been a junior research fellow at the University of Hamburg and an academic visitor at the Australian National University and Harvard University. Her research focuses on theories of democracy and justice and, more recently, on the distribution of health care in international comparison. She has published on deliberative democracy, communicative interaction and health care rationing.