2006 年 57 巻 2 号 p. 11-35,263
In this article, focusing upon the recent development in deliberative democracy studies, I clarify the current state of relationship between normative theory and empirical research and consider its future.
Deliberative democracy had been discussed by normative theorists. But in recent years, some important empirical studies have emerged. There are two ways of inference among those studies: one is descriptive inference, and the other is causal inference.
Some normative theorists also try to take some empirical moments into account. We can find two approaches. One is to suggest institutional design of deliberative democracy. The other is to use the empirical knowledge in order to develop normative theory.
Some scholars insist that both normative and empirical can not be separated. But it is hard to conceive the dissolution of normative/empirical distinction. One of the most important differences between the two is the way to understand “reality”, while this does not mean that there is no point of intersection between the two.
My conclusion is that: there are some points of intersection between normative theory and empirical analysis. Trying to engage in issue-oriented research, we may be able to close the gap between normative and empirical.