Interruptive Protests in Dysfunctional Deliberative Systems

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The field of deliberative democracy has long recognised the role of interruptive protests to make polities more sensitive to good reasons. But how exactly interruptive protests enhance deliberative systems remain an open question. ‘Non-deliberative acts may have deliberative consequences’ is a crucial line of argument in the deliberative systems literature, but the precise character of these consequences is yet to be spelled out. In this article, I describe three ways in which consequences of interruptive protests enhances the deliberative system. I argue that interruptive protests can redistribute (1) voice and visibility, (2) attention, and (3) deliberative agency which, in turn, can lay bare the weaknesses of a dysfunctional deliberative system. The arguments I put forward are based on interpretive case studies focusing on protest movements in the Philippines and Puerto Rico in the aftermath of record-breaking hurricanes. Overall, this paper seeks to clarify the relationship between deliberative politics and protest action, by identifying the distinctive contributions of interruptive protests in redistributing power in dysfunctional deliberative systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-403
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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