Engaging with extremism in a multicultural society: A deliberative democratic approach

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9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper seeks to critically assess the contemporary approaches to radicalisation and violent extremism in culturally diverse societies, and suggests an alternative approach drawing on the insights provided by two streams of contemporary democratic theory: deliberative democracy and agonistic pluralism. This approach puts the inevitability of conflict rather than the goal of consensus at the heart of democratic communication and offers a constructive way of dealing with such conflict in the face of deep disagreements. The paper focuses particularly on the example of Australia as a multicultural society facing the challenge of religious extremism and identifies the conditions under which the deliberative approach can address this form of extremism constructively and effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-21
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Peacebuilding and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2017


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