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Abstract

Deliberation is among the most widely acknowledged figures of thought in social theory. Taking the growing interest in the research conducted around deliberative democracy as an initial position, this paper seeks to provide an overview of recent predispositions and paradigm shifts of approaches taken towards the analysis of real-world discourses. Therefore, as a first step three different – nevertheless correlating – trends of deliberative research are identified: (1) an “empirical turn” and an effort to test and “falsify” assumptions of deliberative theories, (2) the consideration of certain epistemic dimensions of deliberative democracy and (3) the conceptual opening towards not fully rationalizable modes of communication. Based on those trends, the task is to make suggestions of how to incorporate those predispositions and paradigm shifts fruitfully into future research designs.

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