Deliberative Democracy for Diabolical Times: Confronting Populism, Extremism, Denial, and Authoritarianism.

André Bächtiger, John Dryzek

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Democracy today faces deep and complex challenges, especially when it comes to political communication and the quality of public discourse. Dishonest and manipulative communication amplified by unscrupulous politicians and media pervades these diabolical times, enabling right-wing populism, extremism, truth denial, and authoritarianism to flourish. To tackle these issues, we need to encourage meaningful deliberative communication - creating spaces for reflec- tive and constructive dialogue, repairing unhealthy public spheres while preserving healthier ones, and building discursive bridges across deep divides. Citizens who see through elite manipulations should be at the core of this response, especially if bad elite behavior is to be effectively constrained. Democratic activists and leaders, diverse interpersonal networks, resilient public spheres, delibera- tive innovations, and clever communication strategies all have vital roles to play in both defending and renewing democracy. Healthy
discursive infrastructures can make democracies work again.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages253
ISBN (Electronic)9781009261845
ISBN (Print)9781009261876, 9781009261821
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024


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