The following essay begins by outlining the pragmatist link between truth claims and democratic deliberations. To this end, special attention will be paid to Jeffrey Stout’s pragmatist enfranchisement of religious citizens. Stout defends a deliberative notion of democracy that fulfills stringent criteria of inclusion and security against domination. While mitigating secular exclusivity, Stout nonetheless acknowledges the new visibility of religion in populist attempts to dominate political life through mass rule and charismatic authorities. In response, I evaluate recent innovations in deliberative democratic systems theory (DDST). By adding a pragmatist inflection to DDST, I aim to apprehend the complex religious interactions between partisan interest groups as well as the trust-building capacities of minipublics.
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