Deliberative Acts

Deliberative Acts: Democracy, Rhetoric, and Rights

ARABELLA LYON
Volume: 7
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 232
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/j.ctt32b9jm
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  • Book Info
    Deliberative Acts
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-0-271-06225-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. INTRODUCTION: DELIBERATION IN THE GLOBAL ERA
    (pp. 1-28)

    Shall we speak of Abu Ghraib and torture; shall we educate the children of illegal immigrants; shall we guarantee health care for all or for most; shall we intervene in the governance of other nations; shall we ban thehijab(head scarf), medicinal marijuana, and prayer in the schools; shall we find one hundred million missing women, the lost boys of Africa, andlos desaparecidos(the disappeared)? Virtually every page of a good newspaper asks citizens to consider matters of human rights: we are asked to deliberate on rights every day. In response to the significance of rights talk within...

  5. 1 DEFINING DELIBERATIVE SPACE: RETHINKING PERSUASION, POSITION, AND IDENTIFICATION
    (pp. 29-65)

    To do or not to do, that is the question—Aristotle’s founding question for political speech or deliberation.¹ For in doing, or even not doing, in speech or act, one might make one’s presence known to others, but more than making presence, one also creates the possibilities of position, space, situation, recognition, event, experience, and sundry unknown contingencies. Hannah Arendt would have the space of human appearance, the public space where we recognize each other, created by speech and act, the very verbs of human existence. Extending space and who appears and participates, bell hooks requires presence in the spatial...

  6. 2 PERFORMATIVE DELIBERATION AND THE NARRATABLE WHO
    (pp. 66-102)

    On 26 March 2011, bursting the boundaries between Libyan citizens and Western journalists at the Rixos Hotel, Libyan lawyer Eman al-Obeidi reported her repeated gang rapes, two days of captivity, and assault by fifteen Gaddafi soldiers. She told the foreign press corps, “Look at what Gaddafi’s militia did to me.” Her distress, demonstrably scratched face, and binding marks on her wrists—behavior, mark, and gesture—worked as testimony as much as the narrative within her accusations. Responding to her situation, televised internationally, the world quickly deliberated on her fate, on justice, on the place of rape in war, on the...

  7. 3 NARRATING RIGHTS, CREATING AGENTS: MISSING WOMEN IN THE U.S. MEDIA
    (pp. 103-126)

    Ur-narratives and local discourses constrain deliberations on human rights. If there exist normative declarations to protect rights, it is unclear how these declarations are made into an international will for enacting rights. Political purposes, more than normative justice, may dominate rights deliberations.

    InHuman Rights and Gender Violence, Sally Engle Merry demonstrates how human rights laws need to be respoken in the vernacular in such a way that local agents and advocates can recognize novel claimants and engage their claims. In her analysis, Merry observes that “[h]uman rights documents create the legal categories and legal norms . . . but...

  8. 4 THE BEAUTY OF ARENDT’S LIES: MENCHÚ’S POLITICAL STRATEGY
    (pp. 127-150)

    I sit reading Al Franken’sLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. Written on a fellowship at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, this book responds to the lies of the right, exemplified by Ann Coulter’sSlander: Liberal Lies about the American Right. As I read, the radio news is discussing lies about health care reform: Will Obama pull the plug on granny? Perhaps I should check that claim on the “Truth-O-Meter” of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize–winning website PolitiFact (a project of theTampa Bay Times)...

  9. 5 VOTING LIKE A GIRL: DECLARATIONS, PARADOXES OF DELIBERATION, AND EMBODIED CITIZENS AS A DIFFERENCE IN KIND
    (pp. 151-182)

    In deliberation, there are moments of joint action leading to cultural change, and these moments are part of why “procedure” and “process” are controlling metaphors within much of deliberative theory. The metaphors appeal with their spatiotemporal implications, i.e., a linear timeline, which give one kind of narrative power to descriptions of deliberative events, sequences, and endings. Even so, on close examination, historical moments of joint action and cultural change may be as tricky to own or identify as origins and ends. When and where a process starts or ends is not clear. Speakers may also resist acknowledging the perlocutionary force...

  10. NOTES
    (pp. 183-196)
  11. WORKS CITED
    (pp. 197-214)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 215-222)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 223-223)