Deliberative Acts: Democracy, Rhetoric, and Rights

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The twenty-first century is characterized by the global circulation of cultures, norms, representations, discourses, and human rights claims; the arising conflicts require innovative understandings of decision making. Deliberative Acts develops a new, cogent theory of performative deliberation. Rather than conceiving deliberation within the familiar frameworks of persuasion, identification, or procedural democracy, it privileges speech acts and bodily enactments that constitute deliberation itself, reorienting deliberative theory toward the initiating moment of recognition, a moment in which interlocutors are positioned in relationship to each other and so may begin to construct a new lifeworld. By approaching human rights not as norms or laws, but as deliberative acts, Lyon conceives rights as relationships among people and as ongoing political and historical projects developing communal norms through global and cross-cultural interactions.