Cognitive corruption and deliberative democracy

I’m heading to California for a conference on corruption, to give a paper called ‘Cognitive Corruption and Deliberative Democracy’. I gave a version at the European University Institute, Florence, a couple of weeks ago.

Hermosa_BeachAbstract: This paper defends deliberative democracy by reviving a largely forgotten idea of corruption, which I call ‘cognitive corruption’ – the distortion of judgment. I analyse different versions of this idea in the work of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Bentham and Mill. Historical analysis also helps me rethink orthodox notions of corruption in two ways: I define corruption in terms of public duty not public office, and I argue that corruption can be by and for political parties. In deliberative democracy, citizens can take off their party hats and may be more influenced by the force of the better argument than is likely in electoral/party democracy.

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