Noble Politics

In this project, I propose a new vision for democratic politics, dubbed “noble politics”. “Noble politics” has strong roots in deliberative democracy, and its goal is to advance two essential aims of deliberation, namely epistemic fruitfulness and consensual outcomes. Contrary to classic definitions of deliberation, noble politics” is not about the “calm consideration” of the issues at hand and a strong gear towards consensus; rather, it puts a strong prime on passionate contestation and adversarial debating. As psychologists have argued, contestatory forms of engagement may produce epistemically superior outcomes than constructive dialogue. Yet contestatory forms of engagement may eventually undermine consensual outcomes. Therefore, "noble politics" leaves ample room for finding consensual outcomes, but it makes these consensual outcomes dependent on a prior exposure of participants to an adversarial and rigid inquiry. The gist of “noble politics” is the optimal sequentialization of contestatory and consensual communication formats. The concept of “noble politics” will be explored via experimental and observational research.


André Bächtiger (2011). “Contestatory Deliberation”. Paper presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington (DC), September 2-5, 2010, and the Conference on Epistemic Democracy, Yale University (October 2011). Under Review.

André Bächtiger and Alda Wegmann (2013).
“Scaling up Deliberation”. In: Elstub, Stephen and Peter McLaverty (eds.), Deliberative Democracy: Issues and Cases. Forthcoming Edinburgh University Press.

Gerald Eisenkopf and André Bächtiger (2012). “Mediation and Conflict Prevention”. Forthcoming Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Seraina Pedrini, André Bächtiger, and Marco R. Steenbergen (2013). “Deliberative Inclusion of Minorities: Patterns of Reciprocity among Linguistic Groups in Switzerland.” Forthcoming European Political Science Review.

André Bächtiger (2013). “Deliberation, Discourse, and the Study of Legislatures”. In: Strøm, Kaare, Saalfeld, Thomas, and Shane Martin (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Legislative Studies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

André Bächtiger, Simon Niemeyer, Michael Neblo, Jürg Steiner, and Marco R. Steenbergen (2010). “Disentangling Diversity in Deliberative Democracy: Competing Theories, their Blind-spots, and Complementarities.” Journal of Political Philosophy 18: 32-63.

André Bächtiger and Dominik Hangartner (2010). “When Deliberative Theory Meets Political Science. Theoretical and Methodological Challenges in the Study of a Philosophical Ideal.” Political Studies 58: 609-629.

Jürg Steiner, André Bächtiger, Markus Spörndli, and Marco R. Steenbergen (2004). "Deliberative Politics in Action. Analysing Parliamentary Discourse." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


“Deliberative Reforms in the Political System”. Project sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation, August 2010-July 2014 (with Dominik Wyss and Alda Wegmann).


Prof. Dr. Andre Baechtiger
Universität Stuttgart
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften

Breitscheidstr. 2
70174 Stuttgart

Phone: +49 711 685-81450
Fax: +49 711 685-83432