Dispute between John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas: about proceduralism and substantialism within the deliberative democracy model
Keywords:deliberative democracy, public sphere, substantialism, proceduralism, democratic legitimacy, principle of justice
The author compares Jürgen Habermas’ and John Rawls’ theories on the ground of their views concerning deliberative democracy. Habermas’ point may be distinguished as procedural theory meanwhile Rawls’ works can be analyzed as an example of substantialism. Rawls in his “Theory of justice” analyzes substantive elements of nowadays society, naming justice as the basic one, whereas Habermas stresses on the importance of procedural aspect of fair decision. To clarify the main differences between Habermas’ and Rawls’ theories the author discovers their views on the concept of public sphere. Admitting the importance of unofficial elements in public sphere, Habermas is convinced in their importance for civic society. Unlike Habermas, Rawls excludes these elements from democratic procedures. The article also presents Habermas’ critic on the Rawls’ concept “veil of ignorance”. The main thesis which is put forward in the article is that differences between Rawls’ and Habermas’ positions are due to different understanding of the concept of justice. A key idea is that Habermas understands justice as the space of normativity, as something entirely relating to legitimacy.
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