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The place and role of the intimate sphere in deliberative systems

Tetsuki Tamura, Nagoya University

Tue 15 March 2016

11:00am - 12:00pm

The Dryzek Room, Building 22, University of Canberra


This presentation reconsiders the place and the role of the intimate sphere in deliberative systems. While recently developing deliberative systems approach focuses on the connection between different sites and practices of deliberative and non-deliberative democracies and begins to pay attention to various sites of deliberation, the intimate sphere has not got enough attention except both the original suggestion of ‘everyday talk’ by Jane Mansbridge (1999) and her other essays and the most recent formulation of a deliberative system by John S. Dryzek and Hayley Stevenson (2014). However, this presentation contends that their understandings of the intimate sphere are still insufficient especially in the light of another aim of the deliberative systems approach; deliberative democracy beyond liberal democracy. Both Mansbridge and Dryzek/Stevenson do not fully overcome the liberal democratic conception of the public-private dichotomy and they are still shackled by the ‘methodological governmentalism’. This presentation argues that introducing the concept of ‘nested deliberative systems’ makes it possible for us to see not only state but also the intimate sphere as a deliberative system and to overcome the public-private distinction entirely.

About the speaker

Tetsuki Tamura is professor of political science at the Graduate School of Law, Nagoya University, Japan. He is a former visiting scholar and a current associate at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy & Global Governance. His research interests include contemporary democratic theory including deliberative democracy, the welfare state and basic income, feminism and politics, and the relationship between normative theory and empirical analysis. For more information, visit the following website:

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