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CAS SEE Seminars with Guests: Dannica Fleuß

Dr. Dannica Fleuß is a research fellow and lecturer in political theory at Helmut Schmidt University (Hamburg, Germany) and a research associate at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance (University of Canberra, Australia). She is also a co-convenor of the British Political Studies Association's Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group and an Associate Editor of the Journal Democratic Theory. Dannica holds an M.A. in philosophy and political science and a PhD in political science from Heidelberg University and studied at the National University of Ireland in 2010. From 2014 until 2017, she worked as a lecturer in the departments of political science and philosophy at Heidelberg University. She spent time as a visiting research fellow and visiting lecturer at the University of Canberra (Australia), Westminster University (UK), the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), and the University of Nairobi (Kenya). Her research focuses on theories of democratic legitimacy, the theoretical and empirical inquiry of deliberative democracy, and approaches to decolonizing democratic theory. Her book Radical Proceduralism: Democracy from Philosophical Principles to Political Institutions (2021, Emerald, UK) proposes a theory of political legitimacy, advocates for "democratizing democratic theory," and explores the role of political theorists in democratic societies.

Democratic theory: Radical Proceduralism

On Tuesday, May 10th at 12 pm. (CET), we will host the CAS SEE Seminar with Dannica Fleuß, presented by our Fellow Holger Kiik

Dannica Fleuß is introducing her proceduralist approach to the democratic theory, which she systematically elaborated in her recently published book “Radical Proceduralism.” Democratic politics depend on citizen participation, trust, and support. While this support in democratic institutions and political elites is declining, public and scholarly discourse frequently suggests counteracting the challenge by strengthening the role of experts in political decision-making. Yet, such reform proposals convey a paternalistic threat that contravenes fundamental democratic principles. Proposing an alternative, ‘radical proceduralist’ understanding of democratic legitimacy and institutional reform, Radical Proceduralism argues that no such thing as ‘political truth’ or ‘correctness’ could justify experts wielding political power. Rather, the only criterion for democratic legitimacy is all affected citizens’ fair and equal inclusion. Radical Proceduralism bridges the gap between political philosophy and practical institutional experimentation, asking us to bring citizens back in, and engage them in a dialogue about ‘the rules of the democratic game’ and proposing institutional devices that figure as ‘conversation starters’ and facilitate such dialogues. It thereby concludes that a genuinely democratic account of political legitimacy requires political theorists to reconsider their role in democratic societies — and to democratize theorizing about democratic norms and institutions.


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