I recently published in Raisons Politiques an article entitled: ‘Deliberative Republican Hybridity through Restorative Justice’ (in French and English).

It argues for a hybrid between deliberative democracy and Philip Pettit’s ideal of contestatory democracy in which contestatory democracy is contested by deliberative democracy. Drawing on the experience with democracy of India and other countries, the contribution advances eight propositions:

  • A good democracy is both a representative electoral democracy and a contestatory democracy.
  • Separated powers that each check abuse of power by other separated powers are pivotal to a republican architecture.
  • Deliberative democracy is not something that can engage citizens on a broad front with lawmaking or executive government, and not something citizens want on a broad front.
  • It is the judicial and educational branches of governance that are best able to provide citizens meaningful opportunities to be deliberatively democratic through restorative justice.
  • Democracy needs a strategy for building democracy from primary groups out—families, school classes, workgroups, protesting—and from children up. Restorative justice can help build that kind of democracy.
  • A justice system that helps rebuild democracy from the bottom up can be less punitive at the same time as it is more cost-effective in preventing crime and other important harms, such as suicide.
  • It follows that in addition to being a hybrid of representative and contestatory democracy, a republic must also be a responsive, evidence-based hybrid of deliberative and contestatory democracy.
  • Because domination is becoming more innovative into new architectures of democracy destruction, democracies must step up not only contestation but also innovative republican hybridity.

A village meeting [Subodhkiran (wikimedia)]