Deliberative Democracy and the Public Will Formation: Towards an Alternative Democratic Model for Africa

  • Oliver Tersoo Agundu Department of Philosophy Benue State University Makurdi
Keywords: Africa, Democracy, Public Will Formation

Abstract

Democracy as a political system has over the years enjoyed a wide and progressive
acceptance as an effective form of political structure which provides enabling
environment for nourishing of the basics of human flourishing. It has found
manifestation in different forms and designs in various cultures, without
undermining the basic operational principles that are generally regarded as
distinctive elements of a democratic order. The implication, therefore, is that
almost all societies of the world have some forms of democratic credentials. The
consensus principle of decision making through deliberative and participatory
engagements remain a remarkable feature of democratic practice in traditional
African society. This principle of reaching decision and forming the public will was
the traditional method of considering all shades of opinions in the process of
building consensus that will guarantee a rancour-free and public-spirited decision
in the non-party structure of the traditional African society. With the adoption of
western liberal democratic practice, the traditional African method of decision
making through consensus principle is now threatened, and with the sustained
influence of neoliberal ideologies and majoritarianism, the principle of liberal
democratic practice in Africa is facing a huge challenge of consolidation. This
paper, therefore, engages expository, historical and critical-evaluative methods to
systematically lay bare the issues, historically locate the evolution and
transformation of traditional African society and critically interrogate the concept
of deliberative democracy and public formation in view of advancing an alternative
model for democratic practice in contemporary Africa.

References

Ademola, Kazeem Fayemi. “Towards an African Theory of Democracy”. In
Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya
(PAK) Premier Issue, New Series, Vol.1, June 2009.
Ani, Emmanuel Ifeanyi. “On Agreed Actions without Agreed Notions.” South
African Journal of Philosophy, 33(3), 2014, 311-320.
Bohman, J. Democracy Across Borders. Cambridge: MIT Press. 2007.
Bradley, M. T. “African perceptions of democracy”. African Journal of Political
Science and International Relations, 5(11), 2011, 456-464.
Cohen, J. “Deliberative and Democratic Legitimacy” in Hanlin. A & (Ed.), The
Good Polity: Normative Analysis of the State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989.
Daniel Weinstock, David Kahane, et al. Deliberative Democracy in Practice.
Vancouver: The University of British Columbia, UBS Press, 2010.
Edward, Wamala. “Government by Consensus: An Analysis of a Traditional Form
of democracy” in Kwasi Wiredu (Ed.) A Companion to African Philosophy.
http://www.blackwellreference.com/subscriber/uid=/tocnode?id=g978..Acc
essed20/10/2016.
Elaine, Santos. “What is Deliberative Democracy?”
http://deldem.weblogs.anu.edu.au/2012/02/15/what-is-deliberative-de.
Accessed 10/17/2016.
Elster J. Deliberative Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Eze, E. C. Post-Colonial African Philosophy: A Critical Reader. Oxford: Blackwell
Publishers, 1997. P.315.
Fishkin, James S. Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic
Reform. New Heaven: Yale University Press, 1991.
Freeman, Samuel “Deliberative Democracy: A Sympathetic Comment” in
Philosophy and Public Affairs. 2000.
Gutmann, Amy and Dennis Thompson Why Deliberative Democracy? Princeton,
NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004.
Habermas, J. Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of
Law and Democracy. Trans. William Rheg. Cambridge M.A: MIT Press,
1996.
_______ The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalization of
Society, Vol. 1, T. McCarthy, trans. London: Heinemann, 1984.
——— “Popular Sovereignty as Procedure,” in Deliberative Democracy: Essays on
Reason and Politics, James Bohmanand William Rehg, eds. Cambridge, MA:
The MIT Press, 1997.
Kerstin, Jacobsson. “Discursive Will Formation and the Question of Legitimacy in
European Politics” in Scandinavian Political Studies, Bind 20 (New Series),
1997.
Kohn, Margaret “Language, Power and Persuasion: Toward a Critique of
Deliberative Democracy,” Constellations, 7 (3), 2000, 408–429.
Leonardo, Avriter. “Democracy Beyond Public Aggregation: The Participatory
Dimension of Public Deliberation” In Journal of Public Deliberation, Vol..8.
Issue 2, Article 10., 2012.
Mutharika, B. One Africa, One Destiny: Towards Democracy, Good Governance
and Development. Harare: S.A.P.E.S Trust, 1995. P.9
Wamba, Ernest Wambia dia. “Democracy in Africa and Democracy for Africa”.
Kimmerle, Heinz and Fraz M. Wimmer (Ed) Philosophy and Democracy in
intercultural perspective. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1990.
Wing, S. “Constructing Democracy in Transitioning Societies of Africa:
Constitutionalism and Deliberation” in Mali. Springer, 28, April, 2008.
Wiredu, Kwasi. Cultural Universals and Particulars. Indianapolis: Indiana
University Press, 1996. P.179.
______________ “Democracy and Consensus in African Traditional Politics: A
Plea for Non-party polity”. Polylog: Forum for Intercultural Philosophy 2
(2000). http://them.polylog.org/2/fwk.en.htm. Accessed 20/10/2019.
Published
2020-08-24
Section
Articles