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Decolonizing Deliberative Democracy: Perspectives from Below

Banerjee, S. B. ORCID: 0000-0002-8699-6368 (2021). Decolonizing Deliberative Democracy: Perspectives from Below. Journal of Business Ethics, 181, pp. 283-299. doi: 10.1007/s10551-021-04971-5


In this paper I provide a decolonial critique of received knowledge about deliberative democracy. Legacies of colonialism have generally been overlooked in theories of democracy. These omissions challenge several key assumptions of deliberative democracy. I argue that deliberative democracy does not travel well outside Western sites and its key assumptions begin to unravel in the ‘developing’ regions of the world. The context for a decolonial critique of deliberative democracy is the ongoing violent conflicts over resource extraction in the former colonies of Africa, Asia and Latin America. I argue that deliberative democracy cannot take into account the needs of marginalized stakeholders who are defending their lands and livelihoods. The paper contributes to the literature by (1) offering a critique of hegemonic models of democracy that cannot address issues of inequality and colonial difference and (2) offering possibilities to imagine counterhegemonic alternatives for a democratization of democracy from below.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Publisher Keywords: Deliberative democracy, Decoloniality, Indigenous struggles, Postcolonialism, Corporate social responsibility
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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