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Communication, Ideology, and Democratic Theory Author(s): James F. Bohman Source: The American Political Science Review, Vol.

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COMMUNICATION,IDEOLOGY, AND DEMOCRATIC THEORY


JAMESF. BOHMAN
St. Louis University sing Habermas' theory of communicative action and his remarkson the legitimacyof the state undermodernsocial conditionsas a startingpoint, I combinenormative democratictheory with the critiqueof ideology. I first outline four necessaryconditions of communication but-not-sufficient for democraticdecision making:such must (1) be formally and procedurally agreements correct,(2) be cognitivelyadequate, (3) concernissueson which consensusor compromise can be reached,and (4) be free of ideology. Thefirst threeconditionsform the core of a normativedemocratic theory, one that is not purelyprocedural,as many have arguedit is. I then discussthe fourthcondition and establishthe relationbetweenideology and democracy.Takentogether,these conditionsnot only providean answerto troublingquestionsfor democratic theorybut " also delineatethe extent to which politicsis rationaland politicalclaimsare "truthlike.

Since the early modem period, the experienceof democracy has been the sourceof both greatexpectations and bitter disappointments. thinkershad hoped Many Enlightenment to link democracywith moral and intellectual progress. These aspirationsgave birth to strongly normative theories of democracy,most especiallythose of Kant and Rousseau,who saw democracyas the political and collective norm of human autonomy. But when these same norms were more thoroughly and consistently applied in the following century, it becameclear that democracyalone could not fulfill all the promisesof the Enlightenment. What proved inadequate were not the norms and ideals of autonomy but, instead, the practicaland institutional bases by which these ideals could be realized.It is this problemthat concerned Marx when he argued that political democracydid not prevent one group or class from acquiring enough power to gain control over decision making in sohe politicalinstitutions; calleddemocratic bealso exposed the many discrepancies

tween the ideal rights of citizens and the living realityof modem humanbeings.As a centuries-oldexperiment,then, democracy has shown mixed results, leading some to rejectit, others to declareit fundamentallyirrational,and still others to minimize our hopes for it by defining it narrowlyas mere legal and electoralproceduresratherthan as a normativeideal or a form of life. It might seem difficult to put together these two strandsof the legacy of democracy-the affirmationof its norms and the suspicionof its particularforms. Yet many philosophersin what may be called the "radicaldemocratic"tradition have done so, including Marx, Mill, and Dewey. Theirtheoriesof democracyhave typically favored participatory institutions. John StuartMill claimedthat institutions remain democraticonly through participationand that rights become real only if they are exercised.In this sametradition, JohnDewey triedto show that insofar as democracy embodies a public procedure for testing and modifying norms and ends in light of common ex-

AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW VOLUME 84 NO. 1 MARCH 1990

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American Political Science Review Vol. 84


perience,it is as much a rationalpractice cratic norms and their violation. I will as scientific inquiry is. However, like also try to show that by relating these Popper, both Mill and Dewey were at critical and normative aspects of demotimesled astrayby an overly narrowcon- cratic theory, a better set of necessary cept of rationality modeled on science conditions for truly democraticdecision that could not directly serve as the basis making emerges, going well beyond the problems of proceduralismthat plague of politics. But it is preciselythis expansionof the Rousseau and some of Habermas' concept of rationalityto fit the demands defenders. I systematically reconstruct of a participatory politics that Jurgen Habermas' remarks on legitimation in modem society as outlining four condiHabermas develops in his concept of that arenecessary tions of communication democracyas rational will formation, a concept that is normative and critical at but not sufficientfor genuine democratic the same time. First,he attemptsto estab- decision making: such agreementsmust (1) be formally and procedurallycorrect, lish a "minimal cognitivist" ethics-a (2) be cognitively adequate, (3) concern theory of the rational justification of norms-on the basis of which one can issues on which eitherconsensusor comjudge institutionsand forms of life. The promise is possible, and (4) be free of ideology. I firstexplorethe firstthreeconcentral claim of this normativetheory is that political institutions and practical ditions as the core of a normativetheory decisionmakingcan be governedby "dis- of democracy, then discuss the fourth cursive rationality"and truthlike,public and the relation between ideology and claims to validity. This means that ques- democracy. In setting out these conditions, I shall show that it is possible to tions of justice, as much as questions of truth, can be settled "discursively," that reconstruct Habermas' theory so as to is, in an institutionalized, controllable avoid many of the problems that critics process of communication, through find in his views, namely, pure formalism which membersof a society arriveat ra- and proceduralism,the exclusion of certionally bindingdecisionsabout both the tain interestsand claims in advance, the impositionof generalizableinterests,and rules and goals of their common life. the impractical possibility of citizens' This reinterpretation of democracy in terms of discursivecommunicationgives merelyagreeingto disagree.If theseprobrise to the secondmain elementof Haber- lems are avoided, then the result is that mas' democratictheory: a revised theory the conditions of democratic political of ideology, which becomes the critical agreementscannot be judgedpurely forself-reflective elementof democraticjusti- mally but rather must be evaluated in terms of their communicativeprerequification. The theory of ideology can be recastso that it may now describerestric- sites and conditions; it also means that a democracy,no matterhow well ordered, tions and barriersto social processes of cannotentirelyeliminatethe possibilityof communication,barriersthat originatein structuresof domination and that affect communicativefailures and must theresocial processes of decision making and fore develop ways to correct ideological belief formation.These barriersfunction, communication.Thus, while I first deal in turn, to help maintainthese same rela- with philosophicalproblemsof democrattions of power and domination,as well as ic theory proper,I later treatinstitutional the beliefsnecessaryto sustainthem, even problems, including bureaucracy,expertise, education,complexityand participawithin democraticinstitutions. I shall try here to show the fruitfulness tion. theoryis of Habermas' The significance of Habermas' new interpretation of demo94

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Democratic Theory
that it offers a systematicreconstruction of democratictheory in communicative terms. Like "empiricaldemocratictheorists"such as Dahl and Neubauer,Habermas is concernedwith the social condithat make democtions and prerequisites racypossible-except that now those conof communiditionsconcernthe structure cation and discourse. Second, like "economic theorists"of democracy such as Downs or Schumpeter,Habermasis concernedwith the failuresto achievedemocracy-except that now these failures are not put in market terms but rather in termsof communicationbetween participants. But unlike either of these two theories, Habermas'reconstructionaids and empowers, rather than undermines, agents'searchfor greaterdemocracyand an adequate civic discourse (Ball 1988, chap. 6). the concept not be too hardto reconstruct of democracy implied by his social theory, since the concept of legitimation for Habermasfocuses on the relation of reason and social organization. Legitimacy is, after all, "the worthiness of a political order to be recognized"(Habermas 1978, 178) or, alternatively,the correctnessof its claim to be right and just. What does the legitimacy of a democratic order entail? Legitimacyrefers to the convincing characterof reasons that justify political decisions or, more generally, validate practices and institutions. social Indeed,it is truefor any meaningful action that agents are able to give an account of what they aredoing by appealing to reason, if only to a stock of traditional knowledge.Historically, or commonsense the state emergedas an institutionalsolution to a numberof problemsof complexity, such as geographical separation, of acsocial conflict, and the organization required tivities; this type of organization new legitimating reasons, which were supplied by expanding mythical narratives into cosmologies and, finally, ontologies. The advance in social organizaadvancein tion requireda corresponding cognitive abilities and the acceptanceof new types of convincing reasons. However, the ability to give reasons can always be taken one reflective step further: we can also discuss the reasons themselves, in what Habermas calls a "discourse." Such reasons attach to speechacts, in theirclaimsto be accepted generalized by hearersas valid. Habermas idea of truthconditionsto include Frege's three types of "validity claims": utterances may be true, normativelyjustified, or the truthful expression of intentions and desires (Habermas1984, 276). Such claims can themselves be made the subin varioustypes of ject of communication discourses-theoretical, aesthetic, and practical-each with its own aims and procedures, Self-reflective communication in dis-

The Normative Conditions of DemocraticAgreements


were to developan explicit If Habermas theory of democracy,it would be cognitivist in its ethical dimensionand participatory in form, having its origins in Mead, Rousseau,and Marx.Unfortunately, Habermas'discussion of democracy has not, as of yet, been systematicbut remainsscatteredthroughouthis writingsin other contexts. The closest Habermas comes to such a treatment is his first work, StructuralTransfornation of the Public Sphere (1961), where he analyzes the historical emergenceof a normative idea of "public opinion" and its dependence on new forms of association like union halls, coffeehouses, salons, and clubs; the public spaces of modem cities; and new communicationsmedia such as newspapers,publishinghouses, and even conversation.In his sociologicalwritings, Habermas generallycastshis discussionof democracy in terms of the concept of legitimation rather than in terms of a politicaltheory. But it should nonetheless
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American Political Science Review Vol. 84


courses typically involves public argumentation of various sorts. Arguments logically are not simply to be interpreted as inferences but also pragmaticallyas self-reflective, reason-giving activities, whose social function is to give hearers "rational motivation"to accepta claimas valid. So accepted, the claim then acbinding force," quires "intersubjectively in that actorsmay appealto it in creating agreements,in coordinatingplans of action, in repairingintersubjectivebonds, or any of the other myriad uses of language. Thus, in orderto facilitatetheseinfunctions,distegrativeand reproductive courses and patterns of justification in various pracbecome institutionalized art criticism, tices, such as jurisprudence, science, and democracy.Indeed, democquality racy has a special self-referential as a form of practicaldiscourse;in it, as Habermasputs it, "theformal properties of justificationthemselves obtain legitimating force"(Habermas1978, 84). This meansthat in democratic institutions,discursiverationalityitself becomesthe normativebasis of its now-reflectiveclaim to legitimacy.Once this level of justification legitis achieved,previousnondemocratic imatinggroundsare no longerconvincing or bindingand hencebecomeincapableof establishingreflectivepatternsof interaction or recognizeduses of politicalpower. This shift away frompreviouslyacceptreasonshas enormous able, nondiscursive consequences, some of which Rousseau elucidatedin his conceptionof the moral transformationof the self in the Social Contract.Democraticinstitutionsrequire a new type of moral and social identity, which Habermasaffirmsas "the rational content of modernity."For Habermas,as for Durkheim, society is a symbolically moralrealitysuch that each of structured, its membersinternalizesthis structureas part of their acquisition of identity. In can only intermodem societies,members nalize these structuresreflectively, more frequently as reasons and less often as
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causes, as they affirmthe rationalbasis of practices and institutions. Thus, the shared, identical set of beliefs and attitudes, those that makeup what Durkheim of tradicalled the "collectiveconscience" tional societies, contrast quite sharply or "rational" with the modern "general" will; the latter is collectively shared yet not identicalfor each, a unity with many voices. George HerbertMead described this new, more fluid identityquitewell as follows: "A highly developed society is one in which individualmembersare inin a multiplicityof differentinterrelated tricate and interrelated ways" (Mead 1934, 268). This very individuation is both an achievementand a problem on cognitive, moral, and emotionallevels; it is constantly threatenedby a loss of the cognitive perspicuity, the moral identity and the emotional identificationthat are necessaryto sustaina common life under modernconditions. How is this problemof individualand collectiveidentityto be solved on this side of modernity?Democracyis one solution inasmuchas it does not presupposethat shared beliefs and common interests already exist. Rather, it is a process by and nonidentical collecwhicha "general" and formed.Democtive will is generated racy is therefore a practical hypothesis about how convincingreasonsand collective identitiesmay emergeout of a public process of deliberation. As Habermas puts it, democracy"tiesthe development of social systems to control through a of politically effective institutionalization discourse" (Habermas 1973, 393). Its propergoal is not simplyto maintainindividual freedomor the peace and security necessary for commodious living but to establish intersubjectiveagreementsfree from domination, violence, and simple tradition. For this to occur, the topic under discussion must itself be that of how to arrive at a conscious, rational and futureof decisionabout the structure society.

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DemocraticTheory
If democracyis sucha progressof forming a new type of collectivewill, it is necessary to specify the conditions under whichthis will may be "rational" and how the interestswhich emergemay be "general." This effort makes up the core of Habermas'theory of legitimacy. However, as he has articulated it so far, Habermas' conception is rather limited. He often seems to indicate that certain formal-that is, merely procedural-conditions of communicationare sufficient to guaranteethe rationalityof the will and consensusformedin a practicaldiscourse. Forexample,Habermas assertssomething like this in his 1975 postscriptto Knowledge and Human Interests:"The discursively formedwill can be called 'rational,' becausethe formalproperties of discourse and the deliberativesituationsufficiently guarantee that a consensus will arise throughappropriately interpreted, generalizable interests"(Habermas1975, 100). Habermasfurther specifies these formal propertiesin his "idealspeech situation," perhapsthe best known but least understood aspectof his theoryof practicaldiscourse. This counterfactualconstruction presumesto permit us to judge how the propertiesof actualdiscourseand deliberative situationsmight fail to issue in genuine, well-considered agreements.Hence, its primarypurposeis purelyprocedural, in that it sets out constitutiverulesof successful practical discourse for consensus formation, such as that all speakersmust have an equal chance to speak, raise objections, or employ arguments. Is this constructiona sufficientbasis for a democratic theory? Most of Habermas' critics and defenders alike stop here, seeinghis ethicsof discourseas yet another,perhapsbetter,version of what Rawlscallsa "pure proceduralist theory"(Baynesn.d.). Indeed, there are strengths to a strictly proceduralist position. As Richard Bernstein points out, it is easier to defend such a modest and weak claim for the theory of communica97

tive action. It is also more relevant to political decision makingin democracies, since the requirement of autonomymeans that participantsdo not lay out a blueprint for the good life in advance. The sameis trueof modem communicative rationality in general. As Bernstein puts it, "Such a communicative reason is only conceptualizedas a proceduralrationality; it is not sufficientto judgeor dictatea substantiveform of life" (Bernstein 1983, 191). But even such a weakened claim does not escape basic philosophicaldifficulties common to any purelyprocedural theoryof rationality.Firstof all, thereare doubts about the completenessof such a theory as a basis for democracy:proceduralrequirements cannotdefinetheirown conditionsof adequacy.Forexample,the condition that all participants get a chanceto speak could be institutionalized in a rule about turn taking.Yet even with this rule, some turnsor chancesto participate may be inadequate,as they are performed without the proper capacitiesor made in a situationin which they cannot be effective. Rules and procedures,too, must be interpretedand applied appropriately;and both interpretation and applicationrequiretheirown criteriaof cognitive adequacy not specified by formal requirements alone. A second set of objectionsto pureproceduralistdemocracyconcerns the claim that procedurescan be the basis or foundation of justification.Procedural justification is not only too weak to support democratic institutions, it is also paradoxical in two senses. First, justificatory appealsto proceduresare paradoxicalinsofar as they are self-reflexive:the rules and procedures of public practical discourse can only themselves be justified through a public practical discourse. However, this paradox of self-reflexivity does not make procedural justification self-defeating, only circular, and hence never self-sufficient.Against Bernstein,I would arguethat the turnto communica-

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AmericanPolitical ScienceReview Vol. 84


tion and discourse alone cannot save a procedural theory of rationality or democracy,so long as it is a "pure" proceduralism.Second, it is obvious that the sameparadoxesexistfor formalcriteriaof communicationas for formal criteriaof voting, such as majorityrule: just as majority decisionsmay be undemocratic, so, too, all the formal conditionsof communication could be satisfied and the outcome of the collective discussion could still be a nongeneralizable interest. Here, again, this objection does not mean that procedural rules are irrelevant; indeed, they still make up the core of any discursive theoryof democracy,but only as one of several necessary conditions of communication. To give them any stronger justificatoryweight would eliminate the need for discourseitself. If procedural and formal conditions were all that were required for a democraticconsensus, then dialogue and discussion would not be needed. Like the Kantianagent, a single speaker could anticipate the results of such a constraineddiscourse.Procedural correctnesscan thereforenever have the same role in democracythat truth has in science.Unlikescience,which is a form of based on groundsthat public justification do not have to do directlywith the discussion itself and how it is conducted,politics is doubly self-reflective.As Benjamin Barberpoints out, it is itself a political, not a theoretical, question as to what politics even is (Barber1984, 154). This double reflexivitydoes not, however, exclude the possibilitythat the conditionsof discourseand communication can take on a normativerole. Rather,if politics is not to become arbitrary, these conditions must regulate,and cannot determine,the formationof beliefs and desiresin political discourse. If we look more closely at Habermas' own descriptionof legitimacy, he clearly indicates that he is not a "pure"proceduralistwhen he uses the phraseappropriately interpreted,generalizableinterests.
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What makes an interpretation "appropriate" must be that it fulfills certaincognitive, as well as formal, conditions. It is also importantthat it be an explicitinterpretation of an interest or a need or motive. Such conditions, however, should not be too strong or specific, as is often the case in pure proceduralistand liberal" theories of democracy. Proceduralist theories typically use various devices, rangingfrom the "veil of ignorance" to impartiality, in order to constrain the types of needs and desiresthat can be expressedin democraticdiscourse. It may be possible to interpretHabermas' phrasein the same way or to construethe ideal speech situation as just such a device, and some critics have done so (Walzer 1987, 10). The problem is once again that such proceduralistconstraints on content would restrict the scope of democracy and decide in advance what the process of public discussion will be and the type of need or desirethat may be decidedupon. This is exactlythe model of liberal democracy that Bruce Ackerman develops as "constrainedconversation" underthe limits of neutrality.Neutrality, Ackerman argues, is necessary because political talk is about power. At the same time, however, he admits that "the breadth of exclusion it requiresis quite obvious" (Ackerman 1980, 10-11). Understooddiscursively,neutralityis too strong a constraint on self-expressionin democraticdiscourse.It would reducethe scope of political conversationto empty formal rules or to issues about which there is already widespreadagreementif not unanimity. Against "liberal"theories, Habermas gives a broaderaccountof cognitivecontent. No interest,no need, and no desireis excluded in advance so long as participants are willing to subjectthem to what he calls "post-conventional moral justification" and public reinterpretation. Ratherthan using norms of discourseas exclusionary principles, as liberals like

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DemocraticTheory
cogniRawlsor Ackermando, Habermas' tive, postconventional conditions of democratic discourseserveonly to specify the class of reasonsand motives that can form the basis of a processof reachingrational agreements. Part of giving a postconventionaljustification requiresthat these interests and needs must be formed post factum, itthroughthe process of communication self. Otherwise, the proceduralistfalls into the dilemma Walzer constructs to criticizeHabermas: eitherthe discussionis so limited as to make dialogue superfluous or-if one may say anything at all-the results may turn out to be quite undemocraticand even immoral (Walzer escapesthe firsthorn 1987, 11). Habermas of the dilemmasincehe neitheremploysa pure proceduralistprinciple like Rawls nor employs an exclusionary principle like Ackerman. But the noncognitivist, relativistic theory of democracy cannot escape the other horn, as is the case with BenjaminBarber'sconception of "strong democratic talk." For Barber, "strong is supposedto transform condemocracy" flict and disagreementsinto cooperation and agreement. But this is to be done under the basic epistemic condition of politics: "the absence of an independent 1984, 129). The problem ground"(Barber with Barber's proposalis that this absence threatensdemocraticpractice with arbitrariness,since it has no epistemicbasis. Without criteriaor norms, any de facto resolution of conflict or emergingagreeno ment would count as "democratic," matter how distorted or ideological. Habermas escapes this problem by appealingto cognitivestandardsof postconand justification: ventional interpretation the requirementof subjectingone's own needs and desiresto postconventionalinterpretationmeans that only the needs and desires that can be justifiedpublicly may be adopted. This cognitive requirement admits a wide range of needs and desires and does not exclude even self99

interestin advance.WhenGeusssays that Habermas so constrains communication that it may only deal with those opinions already destined to converge, he misses the point. Prior to the discoursethere is no "factof the matter."As for democratic discussion's permitting strange and immoral results, this objectionmisconstrues the political purpose of a normative theory of democracy, which no more assures that actual democratic practice yields just results than a theory of truth will guaranteethat all of our statements will be true. Thus, the alternativeto the two horns of Walzer'sdilemma (proceduralismor anythinggoes) is a normative theory of democraticdiscourseservingto articulatea regulative ideal for communicationin collectivedecisionmakingand not excludingor determining any need or desirein advance. Postconventional,cognitive conditions not only resolve the dilemmasand problems of procedural paradoxesbut also the intractabledifficultiesof trying to order fixed, incommensuratepreferencerankings, somethingArrow showed to be impossible. Problemsof rankingdiversesets of preferences and conceptions of the good can be solved only if participation in democraticdiscourseis an active process of forming one's will and judgmentsin relation to others. As Habermasputs it, distinguishing his view explicitly from Rousseaubut also implicitlyfrom Rawls, redeemable "Discursively normsor generalizableinterestshave a non-conventional core; they are neither empiricallygiven nor simply posited; rather they are in a non-contingent way, formed and discovered"(Habermas 1975, 175). Thus, the problemof democracyis not how to find some optimal solution or standard rule for ranking incommensurate values. Rather, democracyis the political means of forming a postconventional identity where everyone affected by a decision must be able to participatein the agreement. In so doing, participantschange

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AmericanPolitical Science Review Vol. 84


their beliefsand desiresand form their of theimplied will, seethevalidity norms, and thereby begin to transformtheir needsanddesires in lightof them. Mansbridge's casestudiesof participatory democratic institutions reveal just sucha processin freeand opendecision making (Mansbridge 1983,163-82).Here Ackerman's constraint on participants in neutral dialogue-namely, thattheymay not assertthat their conception of the to that of theirfellow good is superior citizens-is too weak:it wouldminimize revision to suchan extent thatunder such cognitiveconditions,changesin beliefs anddesires through practical discourse of thesortMansbridge reports wouldbe impossible. Barber's"strong democratic talk"is also too weak,sinceparticipants areleftwithno clear epistemological basis for publicattempts to convince othersof the correctness of judgments about the variouspossibilities for cooperation and agreement. Buteventhe addition of cognitive conditionsis not enough.Thereare at least twofurther conditions fordemocratic will formation that are only hintedat in the
phrase appropriately interpreted intermas, the point is not-as it was for Rousseau-to separate the general will from the will of all but to decide which issues can and cannot be settledin a consensual manner. There are certainlimitationson practicaldiscoursethat are not presentin in theoreticaldiscourse,since participants it are involved actors, not just reflective speakers. Failing consensus, however, participants in democratic communicaand their tion can still seek compromises; productionmay be the purpose of many discursive, participatory institutions. Eventhen, the courseof publicinteraction is not to be left to strategyand conflict. Consensusis not the only form of democratic agreement.But becauseof the constraints on strategy and conflict, it does seem that consensusand compromiseexhaust the possible forms of democratic agreement. In democracy, the issue at hand mustbe decidedin sucha way that a generalwill is formed. In theoreticaldiscourses, other forms of agreement are possibleshortof a generalwill. As is often the case in science, problemsand claims may remain suspended. However, in a practical discourse, if we agree only to disagree, no common will is formed, problems and conflicts remain unresolved, and political discoursefails. can Institutions orientedto compromise also be designed discursively. Compromises may be formed throughmediation and negotiation, not just by balancing power or trading off unresolvedprivate interests (Dryzek 1987). Compromises, and undemocratic, too, can be democratic rationaland irrational,arrivedat by force or by argument. Their communicative conditionsare just as rigorous,having to do with the creation of conditions of equal power, especially in relation to agenda setting and turn taking. First,the issue at hand must be concernedwith interestsand needs that are genuinelynonconsensual.Second, theremust be an institutionally secured effectiveness of agreements,so that the process of reach-

ests but that are nonetheless implicitin Habermas' normative view of communication.First,the typeof issueunder consideration needsto be specified: Is it one or one for which capableof consensus compromiseis the only possibility? Second-and perhaps this is a subcondition undercognitiveaspectsof democin democratic racy-the communication deliberation mustnot be ideologically distorted.Bothof theseconditions mustbe if a fully communicaspelledout further tive interpretation of participatory is to dealwith all the aspects democracy of thehistorical of thelimitsto experience democracy. Evenwithhisformal andessentially individualistic concepts,Rousseau already that not everything can be recognized decidedby the generalwill. ForHaber100

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Democratic Theory
ing a compromiseitself is not only formally legitimatebut actuallycarriedout. Third, self-interestalone would not supply a secure-enoughcognitive basis for interthe sort of sustainedcommunicative action that makes up the settingfor most acts of bargainingand negotiating. It is obvious that the appealto the necessityof compromisedoes not remove either the decision or the decision-makingprocess from democratic criteria. Nor should compromisebe seen as final, in that the endanger outcomescould unintentionally the possibilityof furtherconsensusformation. In a democracy,agreementseemsto be more desirablethan compromiseand bargaining,at least as a goal or a regulative ideal, althougha varietyof discursive institutionsfor conflictresolution,mediation, and negotiation are necessary for problemsolving and the formationof acceptableagreements. exhaustedthe condiIf theseconstraints it would tions for democraticagreements, still not be entirely possible to escape and problemsof the tyrannyof majorities of empty formalism;nor could we make sense out of Habermas'own criticismof democracyin Legitimamerely "formal" tion Crisis (1973, 36-37). The fourth and final condition for democraticcommunication is that it be free of ideology, that the process of deliberation be "unconstrained" by restrictionsand causal influin democratic ences of which participants institutionsmay not be fully aware.In opposition to Daniel Bell, Habermas believesthat democracydoes not rule out ideology any more than science does; in fact, like science, democracycreatesnew possibilitiesfor ideology, as Marxpointed theoriesof ideology have out. Traditional focused on truth content, defining ideology in termsof actors'false beliefs about theirsociety. Such theoriesrequirestrong causal explanationsthat are often so encompassingas to involve the theory in a self-referentialcontradiction (as in the case of the reductionof cognitive claims
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to interests).But what is really explanatory in such theoriesis not so muchwhat they show about the content of such a belief as how the belief affectssocial relationships in society. Despite the institution of various reflective forms of discourse, the social process of communication within actualinstitutionsmay still be affectedby relationsof power and domination in society. Such influencesinclude barriersand restrictionsconnected with gender, class, social structure,and relations of power, all of which may underminethe conditionsfor the successof such and agreepublicpracticesof justification ment. The potential for ideology in such practicesis seenin the fact thatboth scientific theories and democratic decisions may be fully correctin that they pass proceduraltests of verificationor the actual agreementof all those involved-and yet be ideological because those tests and agreementswere conductedundercondiin the communication tions that restricted relevant scientificand political discourse communities.If this is true, reflectiveparticipants must make use of social-scientific explanatorytheories to create tests for "distortedcommunication,"that is, explanationsthat test for restrictionsand barriersaffectingdecisionsand outcomes and limiting the full participationof all. One role that the critiqueof ideology can play in a normativetheory of democracy is to explainwhy democracyis as limited as it is in contemporarysociety, despite the cognitive achievements of postconventional attitudes and the institutional achievements of universal suffrage and the rule of law.

Ideology and Democracy


In the classical Marxist tradition, the discussionof ideology and democracyhas scope of been limitedby the quite-narrow the definitionsof both concepts.In Marxism, as in much of recentliberalpolitical

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American Political Science Review Vol. 84


theory, democracy is usually identified with Western, liberal, capitalist institutions. Ideology, too, is often conceivedof in terms of a specific, historicalform of ideology, the religious-metaphysical worldviews that lost their social integrative force in early modernity. It is the mirror image of this conceptual map of Marxismthat allows a theoristlike Daniel Bell to speak of "the end of ideology' in democracy and science even while both practicescontinueto have great ideological potential. This potential is found in the fact that appeals to the results of both practices may undertakethe same ideologicalfunction of justifyingsocial practicesthat appeals to religionand metaphysicsformerly filled. For example,underpresentconditions of an administrative state, claims about scientific rationality may become justifications for certainpoliticalarrangements of power relations,as in the case of technocraticinterventions.The social use of scientifictruthmay bringabout a confusion between theoreticaland practical discourses and their forms of validity. Ideologicalfunctionscan be takenover by appeals to democracy itself, as when a resultis justifiedsimplyby the fact that it followed a certainrule. Similarly,within existing democratic institutions, restrictions on communicationmay occur despite the existence of proper procedures. Take, for example,the treatmentof interests within a process of democraticdecision making. Often a consensus may be reachedon the presupposition of a widely shared,commoninterestthat does not exist. Such a consensusmay be a false one and merelyencode relationsof power unthematizedby the discourse.Conversely, in some institutional settings, the rules, proceduresand styles of discussion may simply presuppose that interests always conflict and thus inhibit the formationof strongforms of agreement.It may also be the case that due to social circumstances of restricted information or expressive
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capacity, some participantsdo not yet know theirown interestsand needs. In all these cases, such democraciesrestrictand distort communicationwithin their institutions, despite the achievementof some form of public, reflectivejustification.Of course,the absenceof distortionsdoes not guaranteethe truth or correctnessof the results of such practices, which must undergo continuousself-testingand revision. In generalthe absenceof ideology is, however, a necessary-but-not-sufficient conditionfor the validity of the resultsof a discursivepractice. Unlike the case of of any practiscience, the self-reflectivity cal discourse makes it impossible to be right for the wrong reasons. If Bell and others are wrong, what, then, is the relation between ideology and democracy? Here, too, Habermas' own writings are not entirely helpful since, for variousreasons,he has failed to develop a theory of ideology as distorted of communication.Seenin the framework Habermas'theory of communicativeaction, it is clear that they should stand as contrast classes. For Habermas, both ideology and democracy refer to processes and structures of communication within modem societies.Accordingto the normative theory developed in the precedingsection, democracyrefersto an institutionalizedprocess of communication in a society, throughwhich memberspublicly deliberateand arrive at bindingcollective decisions. Ideology, by contrast, restrictsor limits social processesof communication by structuresof domination or power. Such distortionscertainly can affect both the conditions under which discoursestake place and the processesof communicationwithin them. The theory of ideology thereforeanalyzesthe ways in which linguistic-symbolicmeanings are used to encode, produce, and reproduce relationsof power and domination,most significantly within institutional spheres of communicationand interaction. Typically, socially distortedcommuni-

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Democratic Theory
cation is also "systematic," that is, participantsmay not be awareof the restrictions in communication in their societies (Habermas 1970, 205-18). This is particularly apparentin democraticinstitutions that are supposedto be freeand open. It is precisely within these institutions, however, that restrictionsin communication underminethe very possibility of collective self-determination.The theory of ideology, then, must analyze the variety of dimensions in which communication can be systematicallyrestricted,down to the details of interactionwithin the instiand who tution-such as who participates counts, how they participateand deliberate, and why certain issues may or may not be discussed or decided upon. Any limits not strictlyrelatedto conditionsfor reasoned public discussion distort the process of communicationand can skew the decisionsreachedby such discussion. Such barriersto rational agreementindicate the presenceof ideology in a democracy. The critiqueof ideology, therefore, does not deny the positive achievements of democracies in institutionalizing forms of communication relatedto practicaldiscourse; but it strives to push them in the direction of even more democracy. It could be arguedthat the critiqueof ideolcomogy is an integralpart of democratic municationitself, so that its institutional form may be correctedaccording to insights into its own limitations. Without such self-criticalreflection, democracies could not learn; and practicaldiscourses could not reflect on the communitywide biases that occur in the structuresand conditions of institutionalizedcommunication. Self-correction permits greater democracy and problem solving as selfcorrectionin the sciencespermitsgreater truth and efficiency. If ideology and democracy can be relatedin this way, it would be fruitfulto develop a systematicset of all the possible on ideologicaldistortionsand restrictions practical discourses. Generally, Haber103

mas has had a limitedmodel of distorted communication, as speech involving an unavowed strategicintention.As he puts it, all distortion in communication"can be seen as the result of the confusion of action orientedto understanding and action orientedto success, of strategicand communicativeaction"(1984, 373). Such a limited concept would not very easily fulfillthe empirical purposeof uncovering the full range of possible restrictionsin communicationin practicaldiscourses.A speaker's intention will not bear this descriptive weight, even in the case of self-expression. Thenonavowabilityof an intentionmakes it particularly unsuitable even for describinga speaker'sown unconscious limits on self-expression,since they do not always involve such confusions in any obvious way. The inabilityto expressa need or desire can distort communicationas much as unavowed strategic intentions.Here the formal apparatus of the theory of communicationcan be put to a usefulempirical purposeand save the theory from Habermas' limited description. Accordingto most theoriesof communication from Biihler to Jakobson to communication Habermas, occursin various types of acts, each reflectinga different social function of the use of symbolic medialike language.Symbolicmediamay be used to constitutesocial interaction,to expressintentionsand desires,or to represent states of affairsin the world. While the theoreticalunderpinnings of such distinctionsin pragmatics are still essentially disputed, there is, nonetheless, widespreadagreement that a descriptively adequate theory must account for at least these three functions of communication: interaction, expression, and representation. Using these descriptivedistinctions as our heuristicguide, we can develop a systematic account of ideology as distorted communicationin each of these dimensions(Bohman1986). I will confine myself here to discussinga few such dis-

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American Political Science Review Vol. 84 tortionsin the practical discourse thatis remove keydecisions fromthedemocratic democracy and show how recentsocial- process,oftenat the agenda-setting level scientific criticisms of democratic institu- beforediscourse has ever begun.Baratz tionscanbe accounted for in thisgeneral and Bachrachhave pointed out how framework. bureaucratic organizations withindemoIf democracy is definedas an institu- cratic polities undermine conditionsof tionalized form of communication democracy by filtering issuesout of the through which actors determinethe decision making process.This"mobilizameans,ends, and rulesof theirassocia- tionof bias" results in a nondecision, that tion, thefirstplaceto lookfor distortions is, in the successful exclusion of a whole is in the mostdirecteffectsof powerand range of possibilities thatmightotherwise dominationon interactions leading to be rational but challengethe existing decision making. Muchof classical demo- social structures and relations of power cratictheory,particularly that of Rous- (Bachrach andBaratz 1970,39-51).If an seau, is concerned with the conditions issueor demand is prevented fromreachunder whichthisinteraction canissuein a ing the publicarenafor discussion, there will"in collective "general self-determina- has been a successful nondecision. Nontion. Theseconditions can be translated decisions function to distortcommunicainto communication-theoretic terms. In tionby disallowing legitimate conflict and general,ideological barriers on practical creating a pseudoconsensus. All thismay discourse restrictacts of self-expression be donein termsof theexisting resources and mutualunderstanding by undermin- of the political-legal systems-through ingtheconditions of their success; theydo norms,rules, and principles, as well as this by usingconsensual meansto estab- through theuse of noneffective participalish, justify,and reproduce relationsof tion like public hearingsafter the fact domination in a manner consistent with (Edelman 1967,57). Bachrach andBaratz democratic procedures. Ideologythere- go so faras to assert thatmostpublic polforerestricts communication andinterac- icy decisionsinvolve nondecisions. For tionin orderto produce theeffectof con- example,Bachrach and Bergman have sensuswherenone can be produced dis- analyzedthe bias of population control cursivelyexceptby force or self-decep- policies toward technological intervention. tionsin the fertility rateandfoundthem Let me furtherspecify this abstract to be hardlythe most efficientway of characterization by layingout conditions lowering population growth(1973,7-8). of communication in democracies more Rather, theprevailing policyis a strategy precisely.Often, procedural and formal more consistent with bureaucratic interof theinstitutional aspects of com- ventionand with the moreprimary setting goal are in further munication needof demo- of preserving relations of power existing cratization. Forexample,certaininstitu- than of redistributing wealthor life optional arrangements make effectivepar- portunities. Thus, not only do nondeciof thoseaffected ticipation by a decision sionsviolateformalconditions of demoimpossible,not merely practicallybut cratic participation,they also reveal becausethe institution fails to createa serious biaseson thecognitive ideological framework in which all have an equal level, leadingto the repeated failureof chance to be heardandto affectthedeci- nondemocratic institutions to solvebasic sion. This reductionof the scope of social problemsand to understand and canoftenbedonestructurally, distribute democracy information. Itmaywellbethat rather thanby mereforce. arethefocusof conflicts benondecisions One way to limit such scope is to tweenbureaucratic anddemocratic orga104

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DemocraticTheory
nizations. Social movements often try to turn nondecisionsinto decisionsby using the public sphere in a noninstitutional way. In such cases political institutions need to be expandedby extrainstitutional means, since the institutions themselves revealconsistentstructural biases. Butthe role of ideology critiqueis always to show that some mechanismof reflective,direct public deliberationcan take the place of undetectedstructurallimits and thereby show that democracycan be increased.A generalform of democraticchange is the reopeningof decisionsmade in closed institutional discourses by using the resourcesof the more-open,publicsphere of communication. This proceduremay even increasethe problem-solvingcapacities of political institutions (Dryzek 1987). It may also be truethat once a consensusis reached,the delegationof its executionto expertsand administrators may be effective, subjectto the continuedexistence of an already-established and widely sharedgeneralizable interest. While nondecisionsprovide a good example of criticismsinternalto the process of communicationand deliberationitself, externaland materialconditionscan also influenceand restrictcommunication and consensusformation.Rousseauremarked long ago that enormous inequalities of wealth and status make the "general will" impossible.Here, too, the same is true of genuine consensus. If participantsenter into the practicaldiscourseof democracy with large-scaleinequalities,the difficulties of reachingconsensusand the necessity for ideology increasein proportionto the degree of inequality. As many critics have pointed out, capitalism and patriarchy are inconsistentwith democracyin that both organizesociety in radicallyinegalitarianways, down to structuresand patternsof communication. RobertDahl's recent criticismsof economic inequalities show how they create political inequalities amongcitizens(Dahl 1985, 54-55). It is important to note that inequalities
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themselves are not ideological but that they produce ideological restrictions and distortions in processes of communication and theiroutcomes in a varietyof ways. As the classical critique of ideology shows,theytendto instrumentalize political institutions by makingthemtake on extrapolitical, economic functions, the policiesof which consistently serve the purposeand long-term interests of specific,privileged groups. Evenmoredirectly,inequalities affect the abilities andcompetences with which peopleenterpublicdiscussion and deliberation. BasilBernstein's writings on class differences relatedto speakingoffer a good exampleof how public discourse typicallyrequires the "elaborated" codes of privilegedgroups (Bernstein 1967). Suchdifferences in codesmaybecome the basisfor asymmetries in effective expression and the exclusion of somefromfull andadequate in a public participation dis course.By constituting the rangeof discourseavailable to speakers, "codes" are the resultof the way socialrelationships act selectively to delimit whatis saidand who says it. To showhow differences in codes reflectand maintainsocial structures, Bernstein examinedthe different modesof expression of lowerand upper classes.He discovered that the language use of the upperclassestendedto be less indexical and moreuniversal, as well as morelexically andgrammatically elaborate. Whether or not thisparticular example is empirically correct, it is easyto see how sucha difference couldgive rise to differences in effectiveparticipation in practical discoursesand to structural abouthow one takeson the assumptions role of an expressivespeaker.Hence, codesmayembodynoninstitutional, prediscursive barriers to self-expression for thosewho differin competence, stylesof expression, and even, in the vocabulary, case of multilingual societies,the very language spoken. Undertheseconditions of communica-

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American Political Science Review Vol. 84


notion tion, a purelyprocedural,"liberal" of democracy, based on majority rule, ends up privilegingmembersof genders, strata, and classeswho "knowwhat they want and how to get it" (Offe 1985, 295). The acquisition and exercise of certain politically significant competences and abilities surely requires prior access to social goods. The lack of any effective and self-expression meansof participation has a stabilizing effect on relations of sincethe only dominationin democracies, communicaway to develop higher-order tive and social abilitiesis alreadyto participate in public discourse. Distorted communicationin democraciesputs the powerless in a double bind. Democratic corjusticerequiresnot just procedurally rect communicationbut also egalitarian standardswith regard to the conditions and social goods necessaryfor the development and exerciseof expressivesocial competences.Publiceducationis only the beginning, since it may only reproduce of competence and thesesameinequalities expression. In democratic societies, reproducible patterns of domination require that the that dominatedgroupremaininarticulate, its needs rarely and ineffectivelybecome themesof publicdiscourse.Forthe sakeof a certain some equalityof self-expression, degreeof both materialwelfareand commonly possessedsocial goods is necessary if every citizen is to develop communicative and expressiveabilities. Poverty by itself is exclusionary in a democratic society, since it not only inhibits the developmentof complexsocial and cognitive abilitiesbut excludespeople from inand experiences formation,opportunities, institutions sharedby many. Educational should thus be more clearly oriented to democraticgoals of effective citizenship, like the development of capacities of public self-expressionand shared understanding. Teaching autonomous and is a difficulttask authenticself-expression underany conditions;and it is a potential
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setting for furtherdistortedcommunication, as vanguard theories of political change have long demonstrated.Indeed, such educationis a political act that, if it is not itself to become a form of domination by the "educators," must be undertaken under the same conditions of will formationas democracyin general. Here Habermas' emphasis on new social movementscan be placed within a broad understandingof the "educative" effects of participation, something emphasizedby many within the radical democratictradition.Such effectsinclude not only the development of abilities related to self-organizationbut also the acquiringof a wide range of discursively formed interests, ideals, and norms. Many of the social movementstoday are "citizens' initiatives," insofar as they emerge as subinstitutional associations basedon sharedinterestsand ideals, often with the political goal of demanding greater participation of citizens in the decision-making processesof the state. A democraticsociety should foster the conditions necessary for the formation of suchgroups, since it is only in the context of such associationsthat citizensdevelop the skills and experiencesnecessary for democraticwill formation. Such organizations also providea much-needed space and innovation, for for experimentation what Habermas calls "social learning." Opposition to such groups is typically greatestfromthe nondemocratically organized institutions they oppose, such as bureaucratic and capitalist enterprises. Exceptwhen sanctionedby generalizable interests, such institutions are the main barrier to the continual expansion of democratic institutional structures through acts of democraticcommunication within the subinstitutionalpublic sphere. Finally, there are also ideological distortions of democratic communication due to false beliefs about the nature of democracyitself. These beliefs are ideo-

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Democratic Theory
logical not only in being false but also in functioningso as to restrictcommunication in democraticinstitutions.Given the enormous inequalities in contemporary Westernsocieties, it is not surprising that beliefs about democracyin them tend to be highly ideological. Indeed, the predominant interpretation of democracy both in popular culture and in much "political science" is noncognitivist and economic ratherthan rationaland political. William Riker, for example, argues that participatoryor "populist"conceptions of democracyare incoherent.Based on rationalchoice treatments of the problems of collective action and decision, Rikershows that no procedureor rule for aggregating preferencescould arrive at a consistent or nonarbitrary set of outcomes or decisionsfor all distributions of preferences (Riker1982, 36). If this is true, no popularwill can ever be found, since for any suchprocedurethereexist demonstrable paradoxes and inconsistencies. The resultis that practicalquestions,such as moral and political decisions, are not rationally decidable or subject to reflective tests. On this view, democracyis not a discursive practiceof publicdeliberation but ratheris concernedwith institutional ways of aggregatingfundamentallyunchangeableand nonrationalpreferences. Democracyis seen in the model of voting ratherthandiscussingor participating in a collectiveprocess;Arrow'stheoremseems even to lend mathematical supportto the impossibilityof furtherdemocratization, since therecan be no optimalor even consistentorderingof random,given, preference rankings. While I do not in any way disputethe validity of Arrow'sinsightinto the possibilities of preferenceaggregation,I question Riker'sinterpretation of these results as demonstrating the impossibilityof collective, democratic decisions. All that Riker has shown is the incoherenceof a proceduralisttheory of democracycombined with eLnotivism about norms and
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values. To be coherent, a conception of democracy as collective will formation must be cognitivist, that is, one oriented to normativestandards of correctness and not to the simple belief that "theopinion of the people must be right"(Riker1982, 14). Rather,needs and preferences arenot per se valid or invalidbut mustbe formed through the process of public discussion and interpretationof them. The initial of the majority-or opinion or preference even of all-may turnout to be incorrect. Democraticdiscussionought to be guided by ideal preferences and ideal consensus, whichmakesany given agreement, even if unanimous, subject to the criticismof a better and more adequate interpretation and judgmentshould one emerge out of furtherpublic debateand deliberation.A cognitivist, normative theory of participatory democracywould not be incoherent in Riker's model, even though the outcomes of different discussions may vary accordingto differencesin information, self-knowledge,and competenceof participants.The ideologicalcharacterof Riker'sargumentsbecomes clear in that they provide the basis of limiting the scope of democratic institutions. Since democracy is a self-reflective practice, beliefsaboutthe practiceitselfhave a constitutive role and affect how it is carried of parout. Hence, the self-interpretation ticipants is yet another example of the ideological potential of democracy, no matterhow well structured its institutions or how well formulated its procedures. The truth of "civic republican" views of politicalinstitutionsis theirrecognitionof just this active role of citizens and their self-interpretations. The problem with such noncognitivist of democracy is not just interpretations their theoretical one-sidedness. Rather, such beliefs become ideological by how they are used to justify restrictionson democraticparticipation,particularlythe establishmentof leadershipelites. Riker uses rational choice theories reduction-

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AmericanPolitical Science Review Vol. 84


in thisway to justifyvotingas a istically thanas one elitesrather vetoto leadership way to express judgmentsabout the courseof commonpublic life. Because democraticinstitutionsand leadership theyareinjustified, be rationally cannot charwitha civil-religious steadinvested acter. Loyalty is based on some nonor, likenationalism identification rational now that legitifailingthat, self-interest, in terms of macyis no longerconceivable of the institutions character the intrinsic deciOn thismodel,political themselves. sion makingis confinedto voting, as a andas a decisions veto to nondemocratic mass loyaltymeans of engendering are madeby techwhileactualdecisions 1950; Riker nocraticelites (Schumpeter purely 1982,243). Politicsitselfbecomes symbolic ritual or spectacle(Edelman participa1988,111).Whilebothrequire processof tion, no longeris an effective practicaldecisionmaking subjectedto reflective,rationalcontrol.Underthese is pureideology, conditions, democracy courseof social to thepractical unrelated of power. life andthe distribution
space for social learning, criticism, and autonomy-all of which may now be definedcollectively as well as individually. While its particularforms may vary accordingto social and historical conditions, democracyin this sense is a necessary political component of a free social order. Evengrantingthe limitationsof historical circumstances, the conception of democracy argued for using a theory of communicationmust ultimately be radically participatory. For Habermas, democracymarksone of the basic thresholds of social evolution and is at least one of the necessary conditions of human emancipation.It is still an open question whetherthese strong conditionsfor communicationin practicaldiscoursescan be adequately institutionalized.Some have arguedthat the demandfor participation is inherentlyimpractical,that the demand for more democracyleads to social instaparbility. Under present circumstances, ticipation is destabilizing, in that it is inconsistentwith the unequaldistribution of power that now exists. One can, however, easily imagine a future society in which participationand communication are self-sustaining.If adequateparticipation is made the centralcriterionof legitimacy, it will have the opposite effect in the future to that which it has today: it will furtherits own empiricalconditions of possibility by cultivating the very rational attitudes and critical abilities necessaryfor it to exist. The more a society is based on participation,the betterits members are able to rule themselves. Problemsof complexityand numbers,not human irrationality, are the strongest practical objection to pursuing radical democracy under contemporary condihimselftakestheseprobtions. Habermas lems very seriously, often to the point of almost Weberian political pessimism in recent political essays. However, complexity may be an even greater limit to nondemocratic institutions, which lack

Conclusion
of a normative This reconstruction theory of democracy,linked with a theoryof ideology,has shownthe politireof someof Habermas' cal significance centwork,as well as a way out of some and of proceduralism troubling problems reSucha systematic rationality. political goes well beyond the interpretation in specifyof KantandRousseau theories ing a basic set of conditionsfor valid Theemphasis on democratic agreements. communication providesa fruitfulway the for democratic theoryto incorporate as a of ideology,now construed critique and self-correcmeansof self-reflection instituin political tionof communication description tions.As a whole,Habermas' of a conception of communication implies the publicsphereas an ever-expanding
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Bernstein, Basil. 1967. Class, Codes, Control. London:Routledge& KeganPaul. Bernstein,Richard.1983. Beyond Objectivism and Relativism.Philadelphia: Universityof Pennsylvania Press. Bohman, James. 1986. 'Tormal Pragmatics and Social Criticism."Philosophy and Social Criticism 11:332-52. Dahl, Robert.1985.A Prefaceto Economic Demnocracy. Berkeley: Universityof California Press. Dryzek, John. 1987. "DiscursiveDesigns: Critical Theory and Political Institutions."American Journalof PoliticalScience31:656-79. Edelman, Murray.1967. TheSymbolicUsesof Politics. Urbana:Universityof IllinoisPress. Edelman,Murray.1988. Constructing the Political Spectacle.Chicago:University of ChicagoPress. Habermas, Jiirgen. 1961. Strukturwandel der Darmstadt:Luchterhand Offentlichkeit. Verlag. Habermas,Jurgen.1970. "Systematically Distorted Communication." Inquiry13:205-18. Note to Knowledge Habermas,Jiirgen.1975. "Postscript and HumanInterests." Philosophyof the Social I would like to thankBill Caspary,BufordFarris, Sciences3:157-89. and Thomas McCarthy for helpful suggestions, and the Habermas,Jurgen.1978. Communication many of which were incorporated. Evolutionof Society. Boston:Beacon. Habermas, Jiirgen.1984. Theoryof Communicative Action. Vol. 1. Boston:Beacon. References Mansbridge, Jane.1983.BeyondAdversaryDemocracy. Chicago:Universityof ChicagoPress. Ackerman,Bruce.1980. SocialJusticein the Liberal Mead, George Herbert.1934. On Social PsycholState. New Haven:Yale UniversityPress. ogy. Chicago:Universityof ChicagoPress. Bachrach,Peter, and Morton Baratz.1970. Power Offe, Claus. 1985. DisorganizedCapitalism.Camand Poverty. Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress. bridge:MIT Press. Bachrach,Peter, and ElihuBergman.1973. Power Riker,William.1982. Liberalism againstPopulism: and Choice. Lexington: Lexington Books. A Confrontation betweenthe Theoryof DemocBall, Terence. 1988. Transforming Political Digracy and the Theoryof Social Choice.San Francourse. London:BasilBlackwell. cisco: W. H. Freeman. Barber, Benjamin. 1984. Strong Democracy. Schumpeter,Joseph. 1950. Capitalism,Socialism, Berkeley:Universityof California Press. and Democracy.New York:Harper& Row. Baynes, Kenneth.N.d. "TheLiberal/Communitarand Social ian Controversyand CommunicativeEthics." Walzer, Michael. 1987. Interpretation Criticism. Harvard Cambridge: Press. University Philosophyand Social Criticism.Forthcoming.

the resourcesof competentand motivated citizens.Whateverthe realpracticallimits complexity places on the process of democratization, they cannotbe set in advance but can only be discoveredexperimentallythroughsocial learningin democratic institutionsthemselves.Until these limitsare reached,the goal of a democratic theoryis moredemocracy.Such expansion is possible in modem democracyso long as citizensfind in the public spherea discursive space for criticism, learning, and new formsof associationthat can test the limitsof theirpoliticalinstitutionsand beliefs.

JamesF. Bohmanis AssistantProfessorof Philosophy,St. LouisUniversity,St. Louis, MO 63103.

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