Bras. Political Sci. Rev.2015;9(2):133-5.
Erudite Primer to the Constitutional Practice of Deliberative Democracy
Mendes’s book offers a wide-ranging primer or literature review of constitutional aspects of what may be called the law of deliberative democracy (. This cross-over field of scholarship unites deliberative and legal theory.
It should be no surprise that academic interest in this new field is on the rise. The deliberative democratic turn in political theory has often been called a key development in the study of democracy. Yet though deliberative theory makes many assumptions about the functioning of courts in a deliberative democracy, until recently only a few scholars with relevant legal expertise had undertaken to test and improve these assumptions. Mendes, a Brazilian professor of law, has staked out (alongside a few others, including Christopher Zurn and the late Carlos Santiago Nino) a set of intriguing questions about deliberative democracy in relation to constitutional theory. The strength of the book is in its detailed examination of what still largely remains at least from the perspective of deliberative theory a black box: the internal processes of constitutional courts.