Radical Proceduralism

ISBN: 978-1-80043-721-0, eISBN: 978-1-80043-720-3

Publication date: 30 June 2021


Fleuß, D. (2021), "Prelims", Radical Proceduralism, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xvii.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Dannica Fleuß. Published under exclusive license by Emerald Publishing Limited

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Radical Proceduralism

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Radical Proceduralism: Democracy from Philosophical Principles to Political Institutions

Dannica Fleuß

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2021

Copyright © 2021 Dannica Fleuß

Published under exclusive license by Emerald Publishing Limited

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ISBN: 978-1-80043-721-0 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-720-3 (Online)

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Elli, Micha & Thomas – You know why

(And for teaching me, very practically, that people matter more than principles.)

List of Tables

Table 5.1. Radical Proceduralism: Roles and Claims.
Table 6.1. Overview Participatory Institutional Design (PID).

List of Acronyms

BFN Habermas, J. (1996). Between fact and norms. Contributions to a discourse theory of law and democracy. Polity.
IPR Rawls, J. (1997). The idea of public reason revisited. The University of Chicago Law Review, 64(3), 765–807.
JA Habermas, J. (1993). Justification and application: Remarks on discourse ethics. Polity.
JaF Rawls, J. (2001). Justice as fairness: A restatement. Harvard University Press.
KC Rawls, J. (1980). Kantian constructivism in moral theory. The Journal of Philosophy, 77(9), 515–572.
MCCA Habermas, J. (1990). Moral consciousness and communicative action. MIT press.
OED 1996 Hornblower, S., & Spawforth, A. (Eds.). (1996). The oxford classical dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.
PL Rawls, J. (2005). Political liberalism. Columbia University Press.
RH Rawls, J. ([1995] 2005). Political liberalism: Reply to Habermas. In Political liberalism (pp. 372–434). Columbia University Press.
TCA 1 Habermas, J. (1984). The theory of communicative action: Volume 1: Reason and the Rationalization of Society. Polity.
TCA 2 Habermas, J. (1985). The theory of communicative action. Volume 2: Lifeworld and system: A critique of functionalist reason. Cambridge: Polity.
ToJ Rawls, J. (1999). A theory of justice (rev. ed.). Harvard University Press.

About the Author

Dannica Fleuß is a Research Fellow at Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg and a Research Associate at the Center for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance. She completed her PhD in 2016 at Heidelberg University and held visiting fellowships at the University of Canberra, Australia and at Westminster University, London, UK. She is currently one of the convenors of the British Political Studies Associations' Specialist Group for Participatory and Deliberative Democracy.


Books need people who read them and act on them. Yet books also need people to be written in the first place. I wouldn't have been able to write this book without the continuous support, discussions and comments from inspiring, encouraging, passionately critical colleagues at workshops, conferences, in personal conversations, and in written exchange.

I didn't keep track of all the exchanges that have been valuable in writing this book – so my sincerest apologies in advance to everybody who feels left out in this list. I'd particularly like to thank people commenting on the book in (digital and analogue) workshops, in written and oral form, and who supported me throughout the project. These are Hans Asenbaum (Canberra), André Bächtiger (Stuttgart), Andreas Busen (Hamburg), Sonia Bussu (Manchester), Nicole Curato (Canberra), Rod Dacombe (London), John Dryzek (Canberra), Selen Ercan (Canberra), Jean-Paul Gagnon (Canberra), Michael Haus (Heidelberg), Simon Niemeyer (Canberra), John Parkinson (Maastricht), Olivier Ruchet (Zürich), Gary S. Schaal (Hamburg), William Smith (Hong Kong), and Ulrich Thiele (Heidelberg).

I hugely benefited from my research stays at the Center for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance in Canberra, Australia in 2018 and 2020 and at the Center for the Study of the Democracy at Westminster University in London, UK, in 2019. Many thanks to John Dryzek and Graham Smith for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to discuss democratic theory and practice in these inspiring environments – and many thanks to all the amazing researchers who spontaneously included me in their work environments, lively debates, bouldering and hiking activities.

My thanks goes to Gary S. Schaal who gave me the time and space to write this book and to “space out” of my administrative tasks from time to time to finish the manuscript. Many thanks for supporting and challenging me since 2016 – and for making humor and irony a core principle of our communicative interactions.

Michael Haus supervised the PhD project at Heidelberg University from 2012 to 2016 that parts of this book are based on. Michael, many thanks for your encouragement and support and for providing me with invitations to Heidelberg to continue our discussions of “what happened afterward.” I am very glad that we are keeping the conversation going across cities, sometimes across continents, and frequently across (meta-)normative divides. Your input and our controversies have been (and still are) invaluable. Also, thank you for the most hands-on advice for doing political theory as an academic profession that I received (so far): “Dannica, some things are really not about theory. They're just about football.”

I would also like to thank my students in Heidelberg and Hamburg who ask the best questions and who (luckily!) keep asking me to explain theory (and myself) properly. My thoughts reach out to the students in Tanzania who engaged me in lively debates about women's rights during my guest lectures in 2018 at the University of Dar es Salaam – and who specifically challenged me to (re-)consider the roles and stances that I can(not) take as a philosopher, political theorist, and democratic citizen.

I owe thanks to Friedrich Wilke who thoroughly and patiently helped with editing the final manuscript and to Graeme Currie for translating parts of my revised PhD thesis for this book project.

Hazel Goodes at Emerald Press, you have been the most encouraging and supportive editor possible. Million thanks!

Carl O'Brien, thanks for proofing parts of the manuscript, and for your compassionate friendship over many years – you're my favorite Platonist and I think we're living proof that friendship is (very!) possible across ontological and philosophical divides.

Many things in life are not about theory or politics – and for supporting me in all these regards, I'd like to thank Getrude Chimagai, Jackson Coy, Charles-Phillippe Dijon de Monteton, Sebastian Dumm, Andreas Erz, Rainer Ebert, Thomas Gellhaus, Judith Krietsch, Daniel Larson, Marcel Lewandowski, Lala Muradova, Simon Sauter, Anastasia Sibirtseva, Anne Stegmann, Phillipp Weinmann, and Wilfried Wulff. Torben – thanks for being my roommate in spite of my rambling at 6am about Kant (and other things that are usually considered off-topic before coffee), for tolerating a lot of Bach and noisy Punk music, and for our down-to-earth conversations about social privilege and your activism in areas of Hamburg where people don't have any.

The final parts of this book were written in pandemic times. Writing is a solitary enterprise anyway. Thanks to all who supported me all these months during (partial) lockdown with the help of different digital devices and by making “creative use” of traditional postal services. Nicole Curato and Sofie Marien – I am not sure how I survived before we had our WhatsApp group, but I am certain that I wouldn't have survived the last couple of months without it.

My heartfelt thanks goes to those who offered their spare bedrooms, couches, coffee machines, living room tables and desks in Canberra, Copenhagen, Dar es Salaam, and Berlin during a way too crazy year 2020. You gave me (and the project) some time to breathe. Getting your support and love was and is invaluable!

Chapters 1.1, 2.1, 3 and 4 and partially based on Graeme Currie's translations of revised sections of my German PhD thesis (Fleuß, 2017).