Public Deliberation in a Globalized World?The Case of Confucian Customs and Traditions

Abstract

The question of how democracy can deal with cultural diversity has become more central than ever. The increasing flow of people to many Western democratic countries indicates that our societies will become more and more multicultural. But what is the best way for democracy to deal with cultural diversity? It has been argued that, given its communicative core, the Habermasian model of deliberative democracy provides a platform where cultural groups can concur on peaceful agreements. In this paper, I show the limits of this model of democracy in relation to diverse cultural traditions to public interactions. I will discuss the case of societies and ethnic groups of a Confucian heritage and show that Habermas’ account of public deliberation is not a neutral method for facilitating political decision making, but is culturally biased.

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