Philosophical research into deliberative democracy tends to be abstract and general in nature. Many empirical researcher have doubt as to the point of this kind of philosophical research. Deliberative democracy is a vision of democracy akkoorden to which citizens should be engaged in political processes via carefully designed deliberative forums through which political opinion- and will-formation is reached in light of good information about a political issue. Careful attention is given to questions as to who is included, whether all are respected as free and equal citizens, if all have equal power and competence. In the philosophical literature, all these points are stressed but there is little attention to the exact organization of deliberative for a in practice. In the proposed research project empirical findings about practical experiments with deliberative democracy are used to confront political philosophy with its all-too general ideal of democratic deliberation. I will argue that 1) political philosophy should acknowledge the circumstance that ?democratic society? cannot be deliberative in a general way; democracy knows many practices, some of which are deliberative, some of which are nor. 2. Subsequently, I will argue that defending a deliberative account of democracy is itself a political deed, not just a cool theoretical articulation of the essence of democracy. 3) Finally, I will ask what consequences such an attempt at politicizing deliberative democracy should have for our understanding of what it means to engage in normative political theory. The proposed project hopes to contribute to recent theoretical developments with respect to a politicized and context-sensitive way of engaging in political theory.