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Disability and deliberative democracy: The case for an embodied deliberation

Bahadir Celiktemur, University of Warwick

Tue 12 May 2015

11:00am - 12:00pm

Fishbowl, Building 24, University of Canberra


In its quest for normative legitimacy, deliberative democracy calls for qualified participation from citizens that would be demanding even in the most mature democracies. Its demands for rational reasoning and preference for the force of the better argument are almost impossible to meet for those who lack communicative abilities, and disqualify them from meaningful participation in deliberative sites. My research addresses the exclusion of disability from deliberative democracy and aims to close the gap between the demands of deliberative democratic theory and the reality of life with disability.

My presentation today focusses on what disability teaches deliberative democrats. In this regard explore the spatiality of the deliberative site, problematize the disembodiedness of deliberation, and propose an embodied deliberation through which the voice of the disabled can be heard in deliberative sites. To explain how the embodiedness of disability changes the deliberative sites and gives space and voice to the disabled, I make use of the works of two unlikely names, Jacques Rancière and Judith Butler.

About the speaker

Bahadir Celiktemur is a final year PhD candidate at the University of Warwick (UK) and a visiting scholar at Griffiths University. His doctoral research, informed by his professional background in the third sector, explores how people with disabilities can be included in deliberative democracy. He also works with disabled people and their allies in Gloucestershire (UK) for a more disability-inclusive local democracy.

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