Nadia Urbinati

Thinking in the Making. Public Action and Political Decision in Democratic Societies



Starting from the elucidation of the basic democratic principles, the essay proposes a critical analysis of the two major concepts of democracy, the minimalist and the deliberative one. It argues that the latter, interpreted as a circular communication of the spheres of opinion-formation and of decision-making, is capable of explaining what the former assumes, namely the confidence that competitors respect the rules of the game. Discursive practice, which can take a conflictual form, and decision-making practice constitute a system that without premeditation predisposes citizens to think by acting according to the rules of a game that is permanently open to change.


  • Democratic principles
  • Minimalist theory
  • Deliberative theory
  • Discourse and conflict
  • Habits formation


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