Anda di halaman 1dari 25

Discursive Designs: Critical Theory and Political Institutions Author(s): John S.

Dryzek Source: American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Aug., 1987), pp. 656-679 Published by: Midwest Political Science Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111287 . Accessed: 08/07/2013 17:21
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Midwest Political Science Association is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to American Journal of Political Science.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Theory and Designs:Critical Discursive Institutions* Political


ofOregon University John S. Dryzek,
irand political faces ofexcessive abstraction, aridity, Critical charges theory frequent program a critical theory bydeveloping suchclaims Thispaperseeksto counter relevance. and institutions. The elesocial theory, epistemology, linking forpolitical organization, to themoves successthrough reference areidentified ofsucha program ments demanded and accepted moreestablished in similar theory's pursuit by critical fully accomplished A comparison ofthecapabilities ofthepractices rationalism. Popperian critical competitor, claims. tocritical theory's weight addsfurther inspired bythetwoprograms andinstitutions

ofPoliticalInstitutions Grounding The Epistemological to find political institutions them, While somedigging itmayrequire For example, posiof knowledge. and practices have rootsin theories hierarchy (Iggers, for bureaucratic alonehasbeenheldresponsible tivism policy science(Fay,1975,pp. 38and manipulative 1972),instrumental of Marxism) traceable to Engels's interpretation 43), and (in a version of in theSovietUnion(Ball, 1984).Theories coercive practices political Moreusually, structure. institutional rarely (ifever)determine knowledge or (conversely) criticize and undermine suchtheories justify, legitimate, poofknowledge can inform Nevertheless, theories practices. particular of theunderstanding permeate that they to theextent litical development actors. political linkand prominent themostfully articulated program Currently, as derationalism, is critical to politicalorganization ingepistemology justifies This program velopedby Sir Karl Popperand his followers. and liberalpolyarchy social experimentation, piecemealsocial reform, viewofknowledge.' falsificationist reference to a fallibilistic, through
*A primitive at the 1985 annualmeeting of the version of thisessaywas presented I received from Richard American Political ScienceAssociation, where helpful criticisms Weiner and Stephen White.Subsequent comments from TerenceBall, John Champlin, and Robert Goodinwereinvaluable. A. vonHayek, 'An offshoot ofthisprogram is developed byFriedrich who,unlike Popperians, tries to ground themarket (rather thangovernmental institutions and pracHe arguesfor themarket and against on thegrounds tices)in epistemology. government thata decentralized "catallaxy"of market disactorsoffers theonlywayto aggregate and incomplete bits of social knowledge persed,fleeting, (see esp. Hayek, 1979, pp. 65-97).

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

657

As theepistemological orthodoxy ofWestern science(and social science)which ultimately justifies manyofourmorecherished and prominent political institutions, thecritical rationalist program needslittle assistance from an essay suchas this. Myintent hereis to develop theclaims ofa challenger: critical theory. Bywayofindicating theelements required of a critical theory program forpoliticalorganization, I shallbeginby briefly outthemovessuccessfully laying accomplished bycritical rationalismin similar pursuit. The ensuing development ofa parallelprogram for critical theory will,ifsuccessful, helpdefuse familiar charges that this approach is abstract, obscure, arid,and politically irrelevant. I shallconcludewitha comparison ofthecapabilities ofinstitutions and practices inspired bythetwoapproaches. Thispursuit ofprinciples for political organization can expectlittle sympathy frommanycriticaltheorists. For criticaltheories are most confidently directed againstparticular or exploitative repressive social relations, based on class,gender, race,spatiallocation, dominant kinds ofrationality, and so forth a critical (although will also normally theory specify the broad kind of action necessary to combatoppression). A theory ofthissortis, therefore, tested actionon thepartofthe through audienceto whomit is addressed, as they cometo realizethecharacter and sourceoftheir throw off oppression, itsyoke, and decideforthemselves whatkindoflifethey shalllead henceforth. ofthetheValidation whentheseindividuals oryis complete agreeitgavea correct accountof their and effectively sufferings charted thecourseoftheir relief.2 A critical ofthissortdoes notruleout statements theory aboutthe proper character ofactualpractices orstates ofaffairs. Buta fear offoistinginstitutions and practices on already-oppressed groups by outsiders whocannot knowthesegroups' trueinterests makescritical retheorists luctant to go intospecifics. Anystepsin thisdirection their endanger attempts to establish offrequently innocence leveled that are charges they repressive purveyors ofutopian blueprints (see White, 1980). Although awareof such hazards,I proposeto examinethe claim thatcritical can indeedinform theory thecreation ofpoliticalpractices and institutions. thisprocessmustavoidtheconstrucClearly, though, tionofblueprints that imply perfection for somerealizable kindofpolitical institution. One caveat shouldbe entered beforeproceeding. This essay will work withcritical rationalism as articulated by Popperians and critical as sketched theory Habermasand his sympathizers. by Jurgen Justas
2See Fay(1975,pp. 92-110) for an unusually clearaccountofthisstandard conceptionofcritical theory.

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

658

S. Dryzek John

criticalrationalism is not the onlytheoretical justification forliberal polyarchy, so theHabermas schoolis nottheonlykindofcritical theory. Ifcritical rationalism is regarded as a vitaljustification for liberalpracticeandifHabermas to critical is deemedcentral theory, then thispaper maybe read as an exploration of critical theory's alternative to liberal On theother polyarchy. hand,ifone ascribesmorelimited relevance to critical rationalism and Habermas, thenthisessayshould be interpreted insteadas a showdown between politicalprograms inspired by Popper and Habermas. Full justiflcation ofclaimsthatcritical rationalism conthebestjustification stitutes forliberalpolyarchy and thatHabermas is the foremost criticaltheorist are obviously beyondthe scope of this Let me simply in thecase ofcritical paper.3 notethat, themajor theory, alternative to the Habermasschool is associatedwiththe names of TheodorAdornoand Max Horkheimer. The practical politicalimport ofthisalternative is minimal, as it offers onlydespairin thefaceof an inevitably triumphant andthoroughly nefarious modernity. The following sectionwill outlinethecritical rationalist approach to politicalorganization. Present of purposesrequireonlydescription theapproach, rather thananyprobing ofits coherence or defensibility. In thecomparative I shallarguethat sections which conclude thisessay, fallsshort critical rationalism ofthecritical evenif theory alternative, thePopperian program "works" thewayitsfollowers believe. to Politics:Lessonsfrom Epistemology CriticalRationalism The Popperian specification ofprinciples forpolitical organization withan exemplary scientific begins community governed byfree conjecin itsproblem tureand criticism Thiscommunity an solving. constitutes imageofthemostrational kindofsocial life.Now,real world scientific communities to freeinterchange alwaysfeature obstacles such as hierand punishment oftransgression. The Popperian sciarchy, conformity, entific is unattainable community and functions onlyas a counterfactual ideal to which actualand proposed can be compared and arrangements can be evaluated. This ideal is a critical forall bywhich they standard human socialpractice, including politics. The specifically political translation ofthisideal is the"open society"(see esp. Popper,1966).The primary taskofpolitics is seen as the resolution oramelioration ofsocial problems, and themostrational way
3Arguments forthecentrality ofcritical rationalism are madebyMagee(1973) and James (1980). Discussions oftheimportance ofHabermasmaybe found in Held (1980, pp. 249-59) and McCarthy (1978).

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

659

to perform thistaskis through freeconjecture about and criticism of The idealscientific publicpolicies. community and theopen society are has everexisted equallyethereal. No true, fully open society and probablynever will. Theseutopian beginnings can,however, yield someclearimplications for political structure. Approved critical rationalist institutions and practicesexist at twolevels. First, modelinstitutions and practices can be deand effected critical signed bycommitted rationalists. Second,realworld approximations which havedeveloped autonomously can be endorsed. withexemplars rather thanapproximations, Dealingfirst modelpoliticalpractice takes the formof policyexperimentation. Justas the opensociety thescientific community, so shouldpublicpolicies imitates imitate scientific experiments (see Campbell,1969). Popperian"piecemealsocial engineering" specifies thateach publicpolicyshouldbe implemented under controlled conditions, so thatclearinferences aboutits effects can be made (see Popper,1972). Severalwell-publicized policy havebeenundertaken and experiments alongtheselinesin recent years, is now the staple of policy evaluationtextbooks. theirmethodology ofsocial scientific Giventhefallibility knowledge, Popperians (butnot thatpoliciesshouldbe open to criticism all policyevaluators) specify bothbefore and after their Givenan unadoptionand implementation. admissible of social criticism should be avoidablemultiplicity values, from anyquarter, expert or lay. which suchpractices The modelinstitutions helpto constitute may be captured an by the idea of an "experimenting society," essentially ofinstitutions for thefacilitation ofpiecemealsocial engineering. array centralto Given the instrumental of social conditions manipulation somegoverning Popperian ideasaboutproblem solving, eliteofmanipuof lators mustexist. However, thiseliteshouldbe subject to a maximum control and shouldwieldauthority by thegoverned onlyat thebehest and ofthelatter. maximal Arrangements shouldbe made for generation oftheU.S. ofinformation aboutpolicies.(The provisions dissemination Assess1970 NationalEnvironmental PolicyAct and 1972 Technology in thisrespect.) Iftheissuesinvolved are highly ment Actare exemplary whichexperts shouldbe provided before thena publicforum technical, woulddebateone another (see James,1980,pp. 172-73). Specificreform rationalist lines includethe "overlapping proposals alongcritical outlinedby Roger loops of information and control"in government ofresidents' theconstitution James (1980),whoselevelofdetailreaches to citycouncils. associations and their relationship and into realizethesemodelpractices Despitesporadicattempts littlein contemporary stitutions, precious politicallifemeasures up to

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

66o

S. Dryzek John

Popperianideals. But all imperfect practices and institutions are not condemned alike. Distinctions are made betweenexisting institutions in complete violation ofthecriticalrationalist modeland thosewhich offer a veryroughapproximation. These distinctions yielda general preference fordecentralized representative democracy and hostility to or highly centralized decisionmaking.Thus, bureaucratic, legalistic, Popperhimself can makea passionate case fortheessential rationality ofexisting liberaldemocracy, whencomparing especially it withmore authoritarian alternatives (see Popper,1966). The critical rationalist reachfrom scientific ideal to liberaldemocracy is united bya culturally invariant conception ofrationality as effectiveinstrumental which involves problem solving, and selecting devising meansto ends,specifying teststo indicate theadequacyof means,and thencriticizing thesemeansin thelight ofexperience. This conception ofrationality is applicable to science, social science, art,and publicpolicyalike.The transcendent ofthisrationality meansthatinstituquality tionsand practices themselves shouldbe createdthrough instrumental under criticism. manipulation Thissketch ofthecritical rationalist program for political organizationnowstands at sixelements: complete (1) a counterfactual ideal,(2) a translation of thatideal, (3) modelpoliticalpractices political and (4) modelpoliticalinstitutions forpursuit of the ideal, (5) imperfect real world approximations to thesemodels, all united by(6) a conception of rationality. If critical theory is to mount a credible challenge to thisorthena counterpart thodoxy, foreach of thesecomponents is required. willnowbe developed Thesecounterparts and discussed. The Counterfactual Ideal: Ideal Speech Criticaltheory's counterfactual ideal is theideal speechsituation, in whichdiscourseproceedsamongactorswithequivalent degreesof "communicative This situation in the is unconstrained competence." sense ofbeingfreefrom indomination, and strategic self-deception, teraction. Giventhatdiscussion is unlimited, it is conceivable thatthe wholesum ofhumanexperience can be adduced. Hence, anyconsensus attainedin thissituation, be it about empirical questionsoftruth or normative matters ofjustice,has a rational quality.Now,theideal speech situation does not exist-and clearlycannotexist.Its canons are alwaysand unavoidably violatedin thereal world.But,as Habermas postulates, theideal speechsituation in every is anticipated act of communication betweenindividuals (see, e.g.,Habermas,1970). Any individual communication, collectivedecision,or social practicethat could onlybe justified by diverging from theprecepts ofideal speech

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

66I

is indefensible. The ideal speechsituation and itshypothetical consensus can be used to criticizereal worldpractices. Like any utopia,includingthe Popperian scientific community, its primarypractical value is critical. Habermas (1984) reiterates theprecepts ofideal speech,butthetershifts as hespeaksofthepotential minology for "communicative rationalization"oftheeveryday "life-world" ofsocial interaction. The lifeworld is where individuals construct and interpret their personalities, culture, A communicatively morality, and aesthetic sensibilities. rationalized life world wouldreflect standards ofdiscourse similar to thoseoftheideal speechsituation.4 Somecritical wantto cut short theory purists of might anypursuit principles for political organization at this juncture.Both Stephen White(1980) and Habermas(1982) take pains to stress thatthe ideal speechsituation is notsupposedto be a blueprint (anymorethanJohn Rawls'soriginal position is intended to be a place to whichrational actorscan retreat). Critical at mostallowcomparative evalupurity might ation.So we may confidently to come judge the American polyarchy closer to theideal thandid theThirdReich.Butwe can also try to push critical further. theory The PoliticalTranslation: An Authentic Public Sphere Communicative rationalization and the ideal speech situation can applyto all domainsof social life. Their specifically politicalaspect intheidea ofa "public a concept emerges usedsomewhat sphere," loosely in critical and political moregenerally. theory theory Despiteitselasticity, thisconcept is central to anyattempt to pursuea communicatively rationalized life world(see McCarthy, 1984, p. xxxvii).JohnKeane (1984,pp. 2-3) defines in thefollowing thepublicsphere terms.
A public sphereis brought into existencewhenever two or more individuals . . . assemble to interrogate boththeirown interactions and thewiderrelations of social and politicalpowerwithinwhichtheyare alwaysand alreadyembedded. thisautonomous ofpublicspheres Through members consider whatthey association, are doing, settle howthey willlivetogether, . . howthey and determine. colmight act. lectively

In theseterms thepublicsphere can function as an ideal to which In thelatter senseHabermas appeal is made,or as an actual situation.
can also be violated in thelifeworld; these 4Conversely, principles e.g.,ifindividuals takepersonality, and morality for or ifthesefactors are underthesway culture, granted, ofexternal forces cannot or control. they comprehend

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

662

JohnS. Dryzek

whichsprang forth witheighteenth-century endorses thepublicsphere The emerging to limit moretradibourgeois society. bourgeoisie sought tionaland hierarchical thedevelopment and exercise authority through of informed public opinion (see Habermas, 1962; also Held, 1980, the subsequent of capitalism pp. 260-63). Unfortunately, development of interest theearlybouroverwhelmed thecommunity characterizing geoispublicsphere. The statecame to workforrather thanagainstthe and discourse of politicalpower. bourgeoisie, gave wayto theexercise HannahArendt (1958),likeHabermas, argues that thepublicsphere has sometimes flourished butis todaydegenerate, as disinterested discourse has been corrupted bypursuit ofprivate interest. I shallset aside accounts For present purposes ofthepublicsphere whichground its healthin specifichistorical circumstances and stress instead theuse oftheconcept as an ideal to which appeal is made.John Rodger (1985,p. 205), following Habermas, speaksofan "authentically ofcommunicaopen publicsphere," open in thesensethattheprecepts A polity in these tiverationality arefollowed. grounded principles would, in fact, consist ofan array ofauthentically openpublicspheres. Model Practices:Discourseand HolisticExperimentation The idea ofa publicsphere modelpolitical with can inspire practice at leasttwofacets. The first is simply orfree and opencommudiscourse, in political nication oriented life, toward reciprocal understanding, trust, shares theAristoteand hencean undistorted consensus. Critical theory liannotion that politics is properly a pedagogical and discursive activity. This notion clearly differs from contemporary characterizations ofpolioftheexchange ticsin terms and exercise ofpower-as HaroldLasswell (1961) put it, "who getswhat,when,and how."The idea thatpolitics in shouldbe a distinct communicative domainappearsmoststrikingly Arendt's work (e.g.,Arendt, 1958).5 Shetakespainsto stress that politics, properly understood, does notconcern theresolution ofsocialproblems. the"social"and the"political" She treats The as twodifferent domains. oftheformer majorpreoccupation is poverty; ofthelatter, freedom, parinstitutional and so forth.6 ticipation, reconstruction, Arendt'sfear,shared by many critical theorists, is that goaldirectedstriving to eliminatesocial problemsthrustsimperatives on political interaction. Debate abouttheeffectiveness ofthemeansof
5Though Bernstein (1983) makesmuchofherparallels withHabermas here, Arendt is not,ofcourse, generally classified as a critical theorist. 'See Bernstein (1986, pp. 238-59) foran analysis and critique ofArendt's tortuous distinction between thesocialand thepolitical.

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

663

collectiveaction (e.g., How may we best eliminatemalnutrition?), rather thanjust aboutitsends,involves consorting withthe"diabolical powers"of instrumental rationality (see Keane, 1984, pp. 184-86), which lead onlyto technocracy, bureaucracy, and thePopperian experimenting society. Arendt herself fears totalitarian terror ifwe attempt to solve"social" problems through "political"means(1962, p. 108). Takingsuchhazards to heart, thepractical political program ofcritical theory mightend with institutionalization of principles of discourse in theweak form perhaps suggested by White(1980, pp. 1015-16),for whomprinciples ofideal speechshouldtake a form analogousto First Amendment freedoms in U.S. constitutional law.That is, anyone wishfreeexpression, ingto override tolerance, and participation would requirean exceptionally substantial burden ofproof. On theother can also allow for hand,critical theory politicalpracsocial conditions tice in the form of experimentation concerning (see, e.g.,Habermas, 1973,pp. 36-37). It is crucialthatsuchexperimentation and experimenters; avoidanydistinction between "subjects" hence,the instrumental manipulation characterizing piecemealsocial engineering holistic is ruled out. The appropriate practicemaybe termed experia critical and as sketched mentation, (outside theory context) byMitroff in are all holistic Blankenship (1973). Participants experiments subjects is an imin thetruesenseoftheword.The purposeoftheexperiment in theaspectsof thegroup'scondition considered provement relevant, thanbefore-the-fact upon reflection, by its members (rather by some external In thispursuit are alcontinual trialand error experimenter). lowable, and theindividuals involved can reconstruct their relationships withone another and withthe outsideworldas theysee fit.7Holistic violates experimentation just about all the canonsof systematic piecemealsocial experimentation. Unlikethepiecemealapproach, no elabooftheresults to anylarger ratecontrols are necessary, for generalization or anyfuture timeperiodis irrelevant. population leaves open the possibility Holisticexperimentation thatpolitical in thedetails can getitshandsdirty of practice inspired bycritical theory in a wayforbidden socialproblem loftier solving byArendt's conception In similar ofcommunicative several recent contributions to politics. spirit thefieldof policyanalysis (whichis defined by its concernwithsocial have attempted to applycriticaltheory constructs to problem solving) theconditions ofdeliberation aboutpolicyproposals. So FrankFischer conditions thelogicofnormative under (1980) addresses policy argument
equation notbe confused withPopper's ofthissortshould 7Holistic experimentation (see Popper,1972). historicist planning oftheterm withcentralized

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

664

John S. Dryzek

a setof (1983) develops Forester John and open communication. offree policy in policy debate-especially participants for ethics communicative assertions, question whose job it becomesto exposedistortion, analysts, I And elsewhere stakeholders. of disadvantaged and focustheattention ofpolicydialogue theopenness contemplate might howanalysts outline 1982). to it(Dryzek, critical contributions and provide Designs" "Discursive Model Institutions: thethata critical ofmodelinstitutions at thejuncture It is perhaps of tothepoint is currently weakest, organization for political program ory unsympais not necessarily theory Now,critical out entirely. petering life therationalized A needfor ofinstitutions. to thespecification thetic in socialandpolit"objectified" being through itsprimacy to assert world 1985,p. 58). How(Wellmer, recognized is sometimes ical institutions for ofoverly precise specification, tendto be chary theorists critical ever, traditions cultural and in to variety political be sensitive must institutions 1978,pp. 331-33). (see McCarthy, andsocialconditions context(1978, p. 332) commends McCarthy Thomas In thisspirit basic that the presumption which would "justify institutions sensitive affected all those of the with agreement meet would decisions political in discursive restriction without ifthey wereableto participate bythem Richard Bernstein In pursuitof such institutions, will-formation." and thatwe should"seize uponthoseexperiences (1983,p. 228) argues and the of solidarity in whichthereare stilltheglimmerings struggles to He pleadsthatit is "imperative ofdialogicalcommunities." promise life ofcommunal thoseforms and nurture again and againto foster try are conandjudgment discourse, practical in which phronesis, dialogue, 1983,p. 229). (Bernstein, practices" in oureveryday embodied cretely for ofa project intimations aretheclosest comments Suchscattered in theliterature. to be found institutions ofdiscursive theconstruction have so farfailedto criticaltheorists Unlikethe criticalrationalists, still less attempted much in the way of model institutions, generate reality. to applythemto political tworeasons. herefor disadvantage is at a competitive Critical theory in embodied wouldlikeits modelinstitutions critical rationalism First, are by contrast, theorists, Critical ofliberalgovernments. theapparatus ideal is a separate Their state. ofthecontemporary suspicious profoundly publicsphere(see Rodger,1985,p. 213; Keane, 1984,p. 257). Hence designsis the "public space" the properlocation forany discursive institutions formalized and the state.Excessively betweenindividuals bythestate.Second,as already absorption and de facto riskco-optation of social manipulation instrumental renounces noted,criticaltheory

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

665

in pursuit conditions-even ofmanifestly ends.8 desirable Critical rationlackanysuchinhibitions alists aboutlegislating for political practice. ofmodelinstitutions Overly precise specification involves on skating thinice. Far better, to leaveanysuchspecification perhaps, to theindividuals involved. The appropriate configuration willdependon theconstraints andopportunities oftheexisting socialsituation, thecultural trato whichthe participants and the capabilities dition(s) and subscribe, ofthese desires actors. Is this fear of designing institutions warranted? Oftenthe verb connotes ofconditions "design" manipulation and,as such,is partofthe vocabulary ofinstrumental If one drawsa parallelbetween rationality. thedesignofpoliticalinstitutions and architectural or engineering design, thencritical theorists shouldindeedfearit.9But thedesignofsocial and political can be itself a discursive practices processin whichall therelevant for subjects can participate. and proposals Anyconjectures modelinstitutions can be offered forvalidation bytheseindividuals. The stageis now set fora movefrom of "auabstract formulation thentic publicspheres" to real worldinstitutional design.It is perhaps easiest tobeginwith a specification ofwhat modelinstitutions shouldnot contain. no individuals on thebasis ofanyFirst, maypossessauthority other All that in Habermas's thana goodargument. thing counts, phrase, is "theforceless force ofthebetter argument." evenin Hence,hierarchy, ofrepresentative themildform as endorsed and government by liberals ofinterPopperians, is ruledout.Second,no barriers to theparticipation estedparties shouldexist.Third, shouldbe no autonomous there formal constitutions orrules. More positively, meaningful participation requirescommunicain turn,may need a boost individuals. tively competent Competence, withregard to resources, time,and information. In thiscontext some criticaltheorists see substantial in the current potential "information revolution" (Luke and White,1985),whichmight render obsoletethe idea thattruedemocracy face-to-face contact ofthesortpossirequires ble onlyin smallautonomous communities.'0 Model discursive institutions theembodiment ofcommayrequire municative ethicsin rulesofdebate.So, forexample, RogerFisherand WilliamUry (1981) describecases of "principled negotiation" relying
8Underlying thisfear is a recognition oftheself-subversion of"vanguard" strategies in Marxism and other radicalmovements. '?Enthusiasts ofinformation technology should, however, be wary ofthepush-button democracy ofcabletelevision, which wouldtrivialize politics and reducethecitizenstill further to an isolated spectator (Dagger,1982).
9Rut nntehere the recentvnoiue fnra narticinntnrv "communitvarchitectiure."

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

666

S. Dryzek John

of individual the problemegos from upon fourrules:(1) separation of parties, rather solving tasksat hand; (2) emphasison the interests to generate ofnetbenethanbargaining proposals positions; (3) efforts for"objective fltto all theactorsinvolved; and (4) a striving criteria," interests of each party. Unlikeexisting separatefrom the (particular) any such rules mustthemselves be relegalistic politicalstructures, deemablein discourse amongthepartiessubjectto them.These rules status.A fullyauthentic public sphere mustalwayshave contingent with formal rules entirely. could,ofcourse, dispense is thekindof discursive One bone ofcontention concerning designs one might try decisionrulewhich wouldobtain.Unreflectively, simply rational consensus of the ideal speechsituato applythe hypothetical which as an operative Consenwouldsuggest unanimity principle. tion, ofAristheexercise sus on whatis to be donecouldbe reached through in totelian the prudential applicationof ethicalprinciples phronesis, cases. particular A first situahereis thatevenin theideal speech plausible objection tionconsensus could notbe expected.So Donald Moon (1983) argues of human well hold to different thatparticipants conceptions might A secdisagreeon practicalquestions. natureand, hence,irreducibly consensus ond objectionwould hold thateven granting hypothetical of anyreal worlddisunderconditions of ideal speech,the exigencies assumesand would precludeconsensus. For phronesis cursivedesigns a background on norms and socialization experiences requires ofshared cultural individuals. People fromdifferent the part of participating are unlikely to come to agreement, especiallyunderreal backgrounds timeconstraints. Ifa substantial on community norms orconcepshared background tionsofhumannature does exist, then phronesis can proceedand unrestricted decisionrule. If such a background unanimity is a defensible is absent, thenparticipants can stillreachconsensus based on reasoned to understand the culturaltradition and/or disagreement, by striving of the otherparticipants. This disagreement conceptualframework conceptions ofthepublicinterest, wouldideallyconcernonlydifferent Individuals can thenseekconrather thancompeting private interests. sensuson whatis to be done whilediffering about why. Understanding ofand respect forthemotivations "why" ofthoseholding to a different is crucial.This kind of procedure wouldpreserve the decisionrule of which does notrequire blanduniformity acrossparticipants, consensus, or perfect on norms. agreement has theory nobody inspired bycritical To thebestofmyknowledge, sketched ever tried to articulate and effect institutions ofthesort political

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

667

here. Somecritical theorists believe discursive forms arerareand vanishing.Where, then, might incipient forms be located? Incipient Discursive Designs thefollowing Consider cases. International Conflict Resolution A "problem-solving" approachhas recently gainedcurrency in the ofinternational study conflict. Exponents ofthisapproachseekresolution of conflicts at a level morefundamental than superficial settlementofthedisputes in question.In thislight, agreements such as the Camp David accordsbetween Israeland Egypt are meredisputesettlement,allowingunderlying tensions to persist.While it is not always entirely clearwhattheproblem-solving alternative reallyinvolves, it is morethaninstrumental certainly or purposive ofmeans consideration to theend of resolving the conflict at hand. Instead,theapproachrequiresthatall the actorsinvolvedscrutinize the natureof theirrelaand analyze the roots of theirdifferences in the interests tionships of extinction of the causes of conflict (see, e.g.,Burton,1979; Fisher, 1983). Ideally,theseactorsproceed to reconceptualize the situation away fromconflictbetweentheirstrategic interests (particular) and a reconsideration toward oftheunderlying interests and needsofone,a subset,or all of the parties.Proponents of the problem-solving approachhave sponsored workshops to bringtogether representatives of the sides in variousconflicts. For example,Britishand Argentinian parliamentarians havebeen engagedin informal discussions aboutthe FalklandIslandsin thewake ofthe 1982 war.Whilethesediscussions proceedin the context of deep differences, a degreeof reciprocal unhas been reached. So the Britishparticipants derstanding came to understand whattheword"sovereignty" meansto theArgentinireally overnorms ofprocessfor ans,and a consensus subsequent negotiations was reached(see "Falklands Follow-up," 1985). Mediation is a procedure Mediation under which theparties to a dispute agree to reasonthrough their differences under theauspicesofa neutral third party. Mediation ofindustrial civillegal cases,and two-sided disputes, crisesin therelations of nation-states is by nowwell established. More ofenvironmental recently, mediation policy has madeitsdebut disputes in theUnitedStatesand Canada. Theroleofthemediator is to facilitate reasoned discourse the among to a dispute a medium parties by disseminating information, providing

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

668

S. Dryzek John

for preliminary communication between and sethostile initially parties, initial rulesfor ting debate. The mediator can also playa more active role inproblem reconceptualization ofrigidities inbargainandthereduction ingpositions (see Wall,1981,for more detail).Someenforcement ofprindebatemaybe necessary ciplesof reasoned at theoutsetof mediation. Anysuchrulescan,though, be adjusted, or rendered jettisoned, obsolete as mediation proceeds.And the mediator can increasingly fade into thebackground. Unlikean arbitrator, a mediator makesno judgments. The product ofmediation is ideally an action-oriented consensus responsiveto thecentral concerns oftheparties involved. Mediationin practicecan sometimes involvelittlemorethan a ofparticipation in decisions veneer masking theco-optation oftherelatively powerless by the securely powerful. Douglas Amy(1983) documents several cases in which environmental mediation has been used as a strategic tool by developers. Environmentalists getto say their piece, will be modified and theproject underdiscussion to produce"responsibledevelopment." Whenall is said and done,however, themine, shopwill be constructed. pingmall,dam,or powerstation However,mediation can also stimulate discourseand reflection aboutgoals, andvalues, interests, andreciprocal education over theissues at hand.Suchprocesses, in several anddescribed too,havebeenobserved cases of environmental mediation(see, e.g., Watsonand Danielson, 1982).Mediation contains theseedsofdiscursive in theform politics of botha search for reasoned consensus andunderstanding ofthelegitimate, ifdifferent, interests ofother parties detailon thediscursive (for greater ofmediation, potential see Dryzek and Hunter, 1987). Regulatory Negotiation Regulatory negotiation has recently gained some popularity in U.S. policy-making in reaction circles, largely to perceptions offailure in existing meansfor thepromulgation and enforcement ofgovernment regulations. The traditional regulatory process is somewhat complicated.The relevant has substantial agency discretion, thecourts though have oftenspecified verypreciseprocedural requirements the agency mustfollow,and legislative direction can tie its hands still further. Thereis widespread unhappiness with theresults ofthisprocess. Those regulated complainoftheburden ofexcessive and unnecessary regulations.Thosetheregulations purportedly protect pointto weakenforcewholesalenoncompliance, ment, and cozy relationships between regulators and regulated.Neutral observersbemoan the often-perverse incentives of regulations insensitive to real conditions and a lack of coordination acrossdifferent regulations.

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

669

to improve procedure designed is a discursive negotiation Regulatory face-to-face for it involves to mediation, It bearssomesimilarity matters. in a regulation (such as public among theparties interested negotiation itself) agency and theregulatory industry, groups, theregulated interest of content on theappropriate consensus reasoned toward and is directed years regulatory moredetail).In recent 1982,for (see Harter, regulations of successin areas degrees withvarying has been attempted negotiation regulation. safety work safety, and aviation suchas environmental, to date in regulatory negotiation experiment The mostintensive in the late 1970s (see is the NationalCoal PolicyProject,operational repretogether The projectbrought McFarland,1984,fora chronicle). to discussthe groups and environmental sentatives ofthecoal industry future of coal policyin the United States.A remarkable appropriate thisfuture. Some of the was reachedconcerning degreeof consensus of the legitimate interests of the other accordsrepresented recognition forenviagreedto publicfinance side. For example, thecoal industry and environmentalists at public hearings, representation ronmentalist processfornew one-stop permitting theidea of a simplified supported in theterms change there was a dramatic Moreover, coal-burning plants. theparticiWitha little prodding, ofdiscourse as theproject proceeded. in a languagenew to both sides,thatof welfare pantsbegan talking in thislanguage is allocative The overarching valueimplicit economics. whichagain was of littlepriorconcernto eitherside. A efficiency, ofwelto thelanguage interaction ofstrategic from thelanguage switch of one kind is perhapslittle morethanthereplacement fareeconomics a recipYetitreveals discourse equallydistorted. ofdistorted byanother that beyond particular penetrates normative judgments of rocalscrutiny or thepreservation ofa ofthecoal industry suchas theproflts concerns in hillside Utah. The eventual failure oftheNationalCoal PolicyProjectrecommendationsto findacceptancein publicpolicymaybe tracedto its excluthe United sion of severalinterested parties-some environmentalists, In addition, members theproject's MineWorkers, and consumer groups. such as thedivision realities, somepoliticaland constitutional ignored in a federal system (see McFarland,1984). of policy-making authority suggestive.11 remains exercise theproject But as a discursive
" Asidefrom made for thenumber ofproposals here, therealworld cases described in recent ofissueareasis strikyearsin a variety institutions discursive problem-solving somekindof to theneedfor makefrequent reference ofindustrial policy ing.Discussions in an ecodesigns fordiscursive forum (see, e.g.,Etzioni,1983).Proposals participatory (1984). (1987) and Youngand Osherenko maybe found in Dryzek logicalcontext

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

670

JohnS. Dryzek

in regulatory Whenall is said and done,we shall not findAthens mediation. The negotiation or the Paris Communein environmental threeincipient designs discussedhereall have theirdefects discursive socialexperiments perspective-just as realworld from a critical theory sometimes angle.So mediators are defective from a criticalrationalist and regulatory negotiaand suppress discourse, manipulate proceedings torshappily political"clout."Anysuchprocess excludeactorslacking confined amongpoliticalleadersalwaysrunstheriskof to discussions followers. none of thesecases has been their Unfortunately, alienating refrom a critical Critical theorists able to benefit theory contribution. in theheights Fortheir part, mainensconced oftheoretical abstraction. in theseincipient discursive designs probofand participants instigators oftheexistence of critical But as Trotsky theory. ablyremainunaware in thedialectic, butthedialectic once said, "You maynotbe interested designs indicate thepodiscursive is interested in you."Theseincipient for in today's world. Andthey are rationalization tential communicative often locatedexactly whereone wouldexpect:in thepublicspace between individuals and thestate.12 Real World Approximations in theprevious section designs introduced The incipient discursive morethanunare something lessthanmodelinstitutions butsomething suchcases,institutions Asidefrom designed realworld approximations. in rough can existin and practices accordwithcritical theory precepts several locations. lookOne schoolofthought on thisquestion is thoroughly nostalgic, polis,the early forexemplars such as the Athenian ingonlyto history or the extraordinary surrounding spontaneity bourgeois publicsphere, epicrevolutions. in an array Moresanguine of potential arethosewhosee discursive withpeace, ecology, opconcerned contemporary politicalmovements to nuclear civilrights, community autonomy, feminism, position power, in thesemovements a commonreacand so forth. Habermasdiscerns and a tionagainstthe "secondary of modern capitalism dysfunctions" He recognizes their lifeworld. reassertion oftheclaimsofa threatened forcontribution to the resurrection of discoursein a public potential space (see Habermas, 1981). However,Habermas misses the point, stressedby Keane (1984, p. 25), Rodger (1985, pp. 209-13), and RichardWeiner such politicscan occur within (1981), thatdiscursive
pt. 3). in Dryzek(1987, 12Further examples ofincipient discursive designs maybe found

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

671

movements. Moreover, in some cases thesemovements are committed to thepromotion of communicative ethics(ifnotby thatname) in the politicallifein whichtheyparticipate. One ofthe moreimpressive recentaccomplishments alongtheselinesis thatof the Polish Solidarity movement (see Touraineet al., 1983),whichat its height constituted botha challenge and an alternative to thePolishstate. A Conception ofRationality: Communicative Rationality The finalelement of a critical theory program forpoliticalorganito makeitfully zation, required withcritical competitive is rationalism, a unifying of rationality. This conception conception has alreadybeen mentioned at several pointsand is rootedin thecommunicative action of social life.Communicative action is oriented toward intersubjective thecoordination understanding, of actionsthrough and the discussion, socialization ofmembers ofthecommunity (see esp. Habermas,1984). Communicative is theextent to which rationality communicative action is characterized by the reflective of competent understanding actors. This situation shouldbe freefromdeception, self-deception, strategic and domination the exercise of power.Communicabehavior, through is a property tiverationality ofintersubjective notindividual discourse, maximization, and it can pertainto thegeneration of normative judgments and actionprinciples, rather thanjust the selection of meansto ends. Critical for is nowfully comtheory's program political organization rationalism. The twoprograms in parablewithcritical are summarized Table 1. But thefactthata pathcan be charted by critical is no theory reason for following that pathand rejecting critical rationalism. Through I shall nowattempt thecapabilities ofthetwotraditions, comparing to ofcritical show that theclaims areindeedsubstantial-not in theory only itsownterms alsointhe but terms rationalism. ofcritical A FirstComparison: and Life World System The natural homeofcommunicative is thelifeworldof rationality In contrast, social interaction. instrumental is manifested rationality in theidea ofa social system, in whichall structures, and pracactions, ticeshaveonlyan instrumental function. Habermas(1984) echoesMax Weber's (1968) fearthatwe are witnessing an invasion ofthelifeworld or zweckrationalitat Such ofthesystem. bytheinstrumental rationality a process theworldofmeaning huand removes control from deprives man subjects.Moreover, any actionconceivedin solelyinstrumental Tribe terms morethana meansto someend.As Laurence always proves at length, it also helps determine who or what (1973) demonstrates

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

672

JohnS. Dryzek

TABLE 1 Two Programs for PoliticalOrganization Critical Critical Element Role Rationalism Theory standard Idealized Idealspeech Counterfactual Critical ideal for all social scientific situation practice community Political Critical standard Opensociety Authentic public for translation political sphere practice Model political Refers toactual Piecemeal social Discourse and practice practices engineering holistic experimentation Model political Constituted by Experimenting Discursive institutions and practices society designs arrangements Realworld Endorsed butnot Liberal Contemporary social approximations necessarily polyarchy inspired movements by program of Unites and Instrumental Communicative Conception the rationality underpins rationality rationality other elements under criticism

we shallbecome.So a decision, say,to devote financial to "relresources evant"subjectsin higher educationmaybe an economy measureand contribute to the profitability of industry, but it also makesus a less humane withdifferent kindsofpreferences. Undersuchcondisociety, ourseeming is illusory. tions, choiceoffutures Some criticaltheorists, notably Horkheimer and Adorno(1972), haveaccepted thedismalWeberian prognosis oftriumphant instrumental rationality concomitant withmodernity. Thus,thelifeworldcan expect invasion only orcolonization bymoney andpower, be itthrough advertising,mediamanipulation, experts in nutrition, sex,and aesthetics, or the helping agents ofthewelfare state.On theother hand,Habermas(1984) sees nothing inexorable in the progress of instrumental rationality and system imperatives. The trouble is that whilethepotential ofinstrumental rationality has been realized,an equal potential forcommunicative rationalization has atrophied. But actionsto assert theautonomy ofthe

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

673

lifeworld are indeedpossible(as theabovediscussion ofmodern social movements should suggest). bemoaninstrumental Critical theorists as emgenerally rationality bodiedin authoritarian structures. But theform ofsoand technocratic ciopolitical organization mostconducive to theexercise ofinstrumental rationality is thePopperian open society and itsoffspring. The competitionbetween critical rationalism and critical theory, therefore, reflects thelarger epicstruggle between system and lifeworld. Thisfirst comparison ofthequalities ofourtwoprograms for politiin theterms is hardly itproceeds cal organization for established fair, by criticaltheory itself. Let me turnto the termsestablished by critical rationalism. A SecondComparison: Problem-Solving Capabilities ofeffecTo Popperians, and in everyday usage,rationality consists in instrumentally If problems can only be tiveness solvingproblems. thenclearly has no solvedthrough instrumental action, problem solving place in thecriticaltheory program. The two programs wouldremain incommensurable, theone committed to problem solving, the otherto communicative rationalization. However, contrary to viewsadvancedby criticalrationalists and critical theorists is moreto social problem thaninalike,there solving strumental of Popperiantrialand action.The instrumental rationality error is, in fact,appropriate onlyto stable,readilydecomposable (or whatSimon,1981,calls "near-decomposable") social problems featuring clear,simple, and uncontroversial goals. Decomposability renders An overproblems amenable to attackin analytical, piecemealfashion. all solution can be builtup in a mirror imageofthe "tree"of setsand subsets intowhichtheproblem is disaggregated. Consensuson simple in problem of definition and the direction goalsenableslikeconsensus A staticceterisparibusin the environment of policy problem solving. of instrumental interventions. enablesclearinference about theeffects mostconduUndersuch conditions the form of politicalorganization civetotheexercise ofinstrumental reason-the open society-maywell forstructures to solvesociety's be thebestinspiration problems. Whathappensto instrumental actionwhenproblems are dynamic, and controversial? nondecomposable (i.e., complex), Interaction effects acrossthesetsand subsets intowhicha problem has been decomposed willmeanthat anypiecemeal intervention willramify extensively beyond itstarget, irrespective ofthequality and veracity ofthetheory informing to concontribute disaggregation. Onlybychancewillthatintervention will vergence on a less problematic state. Moreover, any dynamism

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

674

John S. Dryzek

inhibit inference aboutitsrealeffects (bothprimary andsecondary). Successiveattempts to deal withanyapparent, negative secondary and tertiary effects ofan intervention maythemselves onlymakematters worse. At all stages conflicting perceptions ofwhatis desirable and undesirable in socialconditions maypreclude agreement on whether an intervention hasbeena success ora failure. in today's Which typeofproblem is moreprevalent world? Contemin ofwholesale failure problem porary perceptions solving through the of publicpolicymight attest to therarity of (instrumental) application thesimple sort.Perhaps theworld is becoming morecomplex, dynamic, and conflictual, from oftelethough complications arising thepresence in social systems havelong ologicalcomponents (suchas humanminds) frustrated the instrumental ambitions of would-besocial engineers. Consider thefollowing example. is that"everyIt is sometimes suggested that theflrst lawofecology is connected else" (Commoner, thing to everything 1972). Piecemeal, instrumental interventions in ecosystems, including thoseunder theauspices ofpublicpolicy, therefore often producenegative secondary consequences surprising their progenitors. Attempts to deal withtheseconworse.Examplesof sequencesinstrumentally may onlymake matters thisprocessin operation of synthetic maybe foundin the application and fertilizers, and mammoth pesticides energy-intensive agriculture, a development projects suchas theAswanDam (see Ehrenfeld, 1978,for withteleological and conflictual catalog).Ecologicalsystems combined social structures exhibit complexity, nonreducibility, conflict, and dynamism to stillgreater degrees. Ecologicalissuesmight seemto involve questions of"system" and, as such,be amenable Ifone finds to instrumental problem solving. overwhelming complexity and conflict here,one shouldexpectthemeverywhere.If indeedinstrumental trialand error is failing to solve social in a variety problems ofareas,where shouldone turninstead? One reaction to thefailure ofinstrumental rationality is,quitelitera renunciation ofreason.Bothconservative ally,reactionary, involving enthusiasts ofthe "restoration" of a market orderand some ecological ofeconomic opponents growth (e.g.,Ehrenfeld, 1978) yearnforan earlier,simpler age,in which itwas notnecessary to think so hard.A similaryearning is felt bythosewhowouldcoercetheworld intobecoming a socialist ofa siegeeconomy for indussimpler place,be they proponents trialreconstruction or thearchitects ofNazi Germany. nowthepotential rationalConsider ofcommunicative contribution ofcomplex, and divisive social probityto theresolution nonreducible, lems.UnlikePopperian "critical" rationality, communicative rationality

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

675

allowsfor reasoned on normative consensus judgments that, ifattained, couldmotivate actions."3 Thus,problem-solving impasses causedbyconflicting valuesmight be circumvented. In thereal world,of course,an overarching consensus maybe unattainable, in caseswhere except shared socialization enablestheexercise ofphronesis. However, understanding acrossdifferent frames ofreference can allow practically equivalent results (see above). Equallyimportant to thefact ofundistorted consensus is thecontent ofnorms arrived in theterms at,which should, developed byHabermas (1971),constitute generalizable rather thanparticular interests. A generalizableinterest exists beneath thesurface misconceptions of actors.In an argument on behalf ofa candidate offering for generalizable an status, is in effect individual it shouldbe a morallaw,to which claiming all raand knowledgeable tional, uncoerced, individuals wouldsubscribe in the situation at hand. All actors are likely to havebothgeneralizable and particular interestsin thecontext ofanygiven issue.Critical theorists are rightly averse to giving instances ofgeneralizable for to offer one outside interests, the context of discourse endowsit witha peremptory statustotally out of withthe principles keeping of communicative As Albrecht rationality. Wellmer of Habermas, (1985, p. 58) observes "It is not thetaskof the theoretician to determine whatthecontent of a future social consensus will be." But some examples thatcould conceivably arise in discourse In thecontext include thefollowing. ofnuclear all humanity deterrence, has a generalizable in avoiding interest war.Minorities such as governofthesuperpowers, offlcials ment or members ofthemilitary-industrial in strategic complex, haveparticular interests national secuadvantage, In thecontext rity, defense expenditures, andso forth. ofecologprestige, ical resources each individual has a particular in interest (saya flshery), his or herimmediate maximizing "take"(fishcatch)and a generalizable in theoverall interest oftheresource quality (sustainable yieldofthefishoftheecological ery).The continuing on which human integrity systems lifedepends be a generalizable couldperhaps interest parexcellence. As populations natural are depleted, grow, resources and individuals interact in complex withincreasing numbers ofothers waysthenthe valuesmicroeconomists call publicgoods and theirobverse, common property resources, becomeevermoreimportant to their relative private
13Critical rationalism does not,however, treat valuesas arbitrary, for ethicalsystems in terms havea history whichcan be understood ofthecontributions of (critically) rationalactors.But whilethe evolution of ethicalsystems reflects rational processes, any ofthisevolution taskat handis independent problem-solving and itsrationality. History leavesan irreducible ofvaluesin thecontext ofanygivensocialproblem. plurality

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

676

John S. Dryzek

The orthodox counterparts. (and veryHobbesian)microeconomic theofpublic to ensure centralized coercion oryprescribes adequatesupply of commonsresources(see, e.g., Olson, 1965; goods and protection 14 Discursiveaction facilitates of public the provision Hardin, 1968). for and noncoercive goodsin a decentralized manner, publicgoodsand are kindsofgeneralizable interests. ofcommons resources thecondition is problematical is thedomination The veryreasonpublicgood supply An additional ofpubinterests. attraction ofgeneralizable byparticular subselic good supply through discourse is that thisprocedure enhances the with because quent compliance any agreements reached,simply will of have to the content accords. involved consented parties freely be to supplypublicgoods might Anyability of discursive designs But their reasonenough forendorsing their institutionalization. potento social problem tialcontributions solving go stillfurther. thatcan and open society Bothtechnocracy inspire policypractice ofpeople(and and engineering onlyinvolve instrumental manipulation will failto solve For thereasonssketched nature). above,suchpractice howwidely social problems no matter many significant policy engineers of interaction effects. Discast theirnetsforanalytical understanding in contrast, and more can facilitate a less manipulative cursive designs, in political lifein at least kindofproblem-solving symbiotic intelligence twoways. conditions after First, thevery act ofjointseeking improved through in discursive bothiminstitutions can itself participation helpconstitute in theseconditions Forexample, provement and reduced socialtensions. to themanipulation residents ofa deprived urbanareapreviously subject their ofpolicy can improve and exercise makers problem-solving compein discursive tenceby participating institutions thatwill helpdetermine theconditions oftheir liveshenceforth. Second,holistic experimentation maycope withthecomplexity in social problems thatis so devastating to piecemealsocial engineering and instrumental rationality moregenerally. It maybe easierto solve several interconnected problems simultaneously thanone at a time(see Mitroff and Blankenship, 1973).Interactions acrosssubsets ofa problem (thedefinition of complexity) can be addressed byjoint actionson the partofactorslocatedin or concerned withtherelevant interacting subsets.Communicative rationalization promotes thecommitment of such actorsto cooperative projects. Thus, nonreducibility in problems can be mirrored by nonreducibility in problem solving. Suchjointprojects
in thistradition ofconditional to thepossibility '4Recent work has called attention an adequatesupply of public cooperation amongpurely self-interested actorsproviding 1976). goods, though onlyin smallgroups (see,e.g.,Taylor,

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY

AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

677

are anathema to piecemeal for experimenters, they cloudthepossibility ofclearcausal inference from policyintervention. Ifdiscursive designs are potentially devicesforsolving social probthenone placeto lookfor lems, oftheir realization signs wouldbe in the of complex, vicinity nonreducible, and controversial social problems. to the expectations Contrary of mostcriticaltheorists, it is herethat instrumental rationality is breaking down.The locationofincipient discursive designs suchas international conflict resolution, mediation, and regulatory negotiation is nowunderstandable. Asidefrom their immediate contribution to problem solving, such incipient discursive designs havethree noteworthy qualities.First, they exposethedeficiencies ofestablished institutions in thesame operating area. Mediation can makelitigation look foolish and can exposepublic hearings forthecharadesthey generally are. Second,notbeingbound up in constitutions and formal rules(or othercontrols), theyallow for their ownsupercession. Theirprocedures can developin thedirections their participants feelmostappropriate. Third, their very presence and successful functioning helperodetheidea thatit is legitimate to exercise authority on thebasis ofanything other thana good argument. Conclusion Criticaltheory is fully a realistic capable of inspiring for program political To thedegree organization. thatcollective choiceis so inspired, thescope for influence or control material through richesor themeans to coerceothers is reduced.Beyond thispromise ofa more"authentic" politics offreediscourse, theprojectmayoffer one ofthefewavenues fordealingeffectively withgrowing conflict, and nonrecomplexity, in social problems. If so, thefuture ducibility will haveincreasing need ofdiscursive designs. Manuscript submitted 31 March1986 Final manuscript received 21 July 1986
REFERENCES Amy, DouglasJ. 1983.The politics ofenvironmental mediation. Ecology Law Quarterly, Arendt, Hannah.1958.Thehuman condition. Chicago:University ofChicagoPress. . 1962.On revolution. NewYork:Viking. Ball, Terence.1984.Marxianscienceand positivist politics. In TerenceBall and James Farr, eds.,After Marx.NewYork:Cambridge University Press. Bernstein, RichardJ. 1983. Beyondobjectivism and relativism: Science,hermeneutics, andpraxis.Philadelphia: ofPennsylvania Press. University . 1986.Philosophical profiles. Philadelphia: ofPennsylvania Press. University
11:1-19.

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

678

John S. Dryzek

John.1979.Deviance, Burton, terrorism, and war:Theprocess ofsolving unsolved social problems. NewYork:St. Martin's. Campbell, Donald T. 1969.Reforms as experiments. American Psychologist, 24:409-29. Commoner, Barry. 1972.Theclosing circle. NewYork:Bantam. Dagger, Richard.1982.Computers, cables,and citizenship: ofdirect On thedesirability In Arthur L. Kalleberg, J.Donald Moon,and Daniel R. Sabia,eds.,Disdemocracy. sentand affirmation: Essaysin honor ofMulford Green:Bowling Q. Sibley. Bowling GreenUniversity PopularPress. Dryzek, John S. 1982.Policyanalysis as a hermeneutic activity. Policy Sciences,14:30929. . 1987. Rationalecology: and politicaleconomy. Environment Oxford and New York:Basil Blackwell. forinternational Dryzek, JohnS., and Susan Hunter.1987. Environmental mediation problems. StudiesQuarterly, International 31:87-102. Ehrenfeld, David. 1978.Thearrogance NewYork: Press. ofhumanism. Oxford University Etzioni, Amitai.1983.An immodest America thetwenty-first agenda:Rebuilding before NewYork:McGrawHill. century. Falklands forInternational follow-up. 1985.Nations and needs, Newsletter oftheCenter Development 1-2. and Conflict Management, October: Fay,Brian.1975.Social theory andpolitical practice. London:Allenand Unwin. Fischer, Frank. 1980. Politics, values,and publicpolicy:The problem of methodology. Boulder, CO: Westview. Fisher, Roger, and William Ury.1981.Getting toyes.Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Fisher, RonaldJ. 1983.Third as a method ofintergroup conflict resoparty consultation lution. Journal ofConflict Resolution, 27:301-34. Forester, John.1983.Whatanalysts do. In William N. Dunn,ed., Values, and the ethics, Books. practice ofpolicy analysis. Lexington: Lexington derOffentlichkeit. Neuwied: Luchterhand. Habermas, Jurgen. 1962.Strukturwandel 1970.Towards a theory ofcommunicative 13:360-75. competence. Inquiry, 1971.Knowledge and human interests. Boston: Beacon. 1973. Theory andpractice. Boston: Beacon. 1981.Newsocialmovements. Telos, 49:33-37. 1982.A reply to mycritics. In John and David Held,eds.,Habermas: Thompson debates. MIT Press. Critical Cambridge: . 1984. The theory actionI: Reason and therationalization ofcommunicative of Boston: Beacon. society. Garrett. Hardin, 1968.The tragedy ofthecommons. Science,162:1242-48. J.1982.Negotiating A curefor Harter, Philip regulations: malaise. Law Journal, Georgetown 71:1-118. A. von. 1979.Law, legislation, III: Thepolitical Hayek, Friedrich and liberty order ofa free people.Chicago:University ofChicagoPress. Held, David. 1980.Introduction to critical theory: Horkheimer to Habermas.Berkeley: ofCalifornia Press. University Horkheimer, Max, and TheodorAdorno.1972. Dialecticof enlightenment. New York: Herder and Herder. An exposition. New York: Iggers, GeorgeG., ed. 1972. The doctrine of Saint-Simon: Schocken. James, Roger.1980. Return in publiclife.Shepton to reason:Popper'sthought Mallet, Eng.:Open Books. Keane, John.1984. Public lifeand late capitalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

CRITICAL THEORY AND POLITICAL

INSTITUTIONS

679

when, and how.Cleveland: World. Whogetswhat, Lasswell, HaroldD. 1961.Politics: revolutheory, theinformational K. White. 1985.Critical Luke,Timothy W.,and Stephen ed., Critical theory and public In John Forester, tion,and an ecologicalmodernity. MIT Press. life. Cambridge: London:Fontana. Magee,Brian.1973.Popper. MIT Habermas.Cambridge: theory ofJurgen McCarthy, ThomasC. 1978. The critical Press. In Jurgen Habermas, The theory ofcommunica. 1984.Translator's introduction. I: Reasonand therationalization Boston: Beacon. ofsociety. tive action in regulatory negotiation: The NationalCoal McFarland, Andrew. 1984.An experiment oftheWestern Political ScienceAssoat theannualmeeting Policy Project. Presented ciation, Sacramento. of the holistic Blankenship. 1973.On the methodology Mitroff, Ian I., and L. Vaughan and theory. In Daniel R. Sabia, Jr., Moon,J.Donald. 1983.Politicalethicsand critical and other critical perCritical theory Jerald social science: Wallulis, eds., Changing ofNewYorkPress. StateUniversity spectives. Albany: Press. action. University Cambridge: Harvard Olson,Mancur.1965.Thelogicofcollective London:Routledge and Kegan and itsenemies. Popper, Karl R. 1966. The opensociety Paul. Rev.ed. London:Routledge and KeganPaul. . 1972.Thepoverty ofhistoricism. 33:203ofthepublicsphere. Political Studies, Rodger, John J. 1985.On thedegeneration 17. MIT Press. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Herbert A. 1981.Thesciences oftheartificial. Simon, London:Wiley. and cooperation. Taylor, Michael.1976.Anarchy andJanStrzelecki. 1983.Solidarity: Dubet,MichelWieviorka, Touraine, Alain,Francois Press. Cambridge University Poland,1980-81.Cambridge: of The limits discontinuity: assessment and thefourth Tribe, Laurence. 1973.Technology Law Review, 46:617-60. Southern California instrumental rationality. An analysis, Journal review, and proposed research. Wall,James A., Jr.1981.Mediation: 25:157-80. Resolution, ofConflict NaturalReJohnL., and Luke J. Danielson.1982. Environmental mediation. Watson, sources 15:687-723. Lawyer, Roth In Max Weber, and Society, Max. 1968.Bureaucracy. Economy ed. Guenther Weber, NewYork:Bedminster. and Klaus Wittich. Hills:Sage. andpolitical Richard.1981.Cultural Marxism sociology. Beverly Weiner, In Richard ofenlightenment. 1985.Reason, Utopia,andtheDialectics Wellmer, Albrecht. Press. Cambridge: Polity J.Bernstein, ed.,Habermasand modernity. of the critics. in Habermas:A critique K. 1980. Reason and authority White, Stephen ScienceReview, 74:1007-17. American Political 1984.Arctic resource Sourcesand soluconflicts: Young, OranR., and Gail Osherenko. Arctic In William and KurtM. Shusterich, States tions. E. Westermeyer eds., United NewYork:Springer-Verlag. interests.
experiment.TechnologicalForecastingand Social Change, 4:339-53.

This content downloaded from 190.144.163.87 on Mon, 8 Jul 2013 17:21:17 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions