Rescuing Democracy

Rescuing Democracy

Author: Paul E. Smith

Publisher: punctum books

ISBN: 9780998237503

Category: Political Science

Page: 520

View: 920

This book proposes a new institution - the 'People's Forum' - to enable democratic governments to effectively address long-running issues like global warming and inequality. It would help citizens decide what strategic problems their government must fix, especially where this requires them to suffer some inconvenience or cost.The People's Forum is first based on a new diagnosis of government failure in democracies. The book tests its own analyses of government failure by seeing whether these might help us to explain the failures of particular democracies to address (and in some cases, to even recognize) several crucial environmental problems. The essential features of a new design for democracy are described and then compared with those of previous institutional designs that were also intended to improve the quality of democratic government. In that comparison, the People's Forum turns out to be not only the most effective design for developing and implementing competent policy, but also the easiest to establish and run. The latter advantage is crucial as there has been no success in getting previous designs into actual trial practice. It is hoped that this book may inspire a small group to raise the money to set up and run the People's Forum. Then, as citizens see it operating and engage with it, they may come to regard the new Forum as essential in helping them to deliberate long-running issues and to get their resulting initiatives implemented by government. Smith also discusses how the People's Forum must be managed and how groups with different political ideologies may react to it.An Afterword sets out the method by which this design was produced, to help those who might want to devise an institution themselves. The new concepts in environmental science that the book develops to test its diagnosis are applied in an Appendix to outline crucial options for the future of Tasmania. Similar options apply to many countries, states and provinces. As indicated above, those choices are currently beyond the capacity of democratic governments to address and in some cases, even to recognize. But the People's Forum may lift them out of that morass.

Time to save democracy

Time to save democracy

Author: Tam, Henry

Publisher: Policy Press

ISBN: 9781447338260

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 807

To govern ourselves or not to? This is the existential question of politics. With the rise of distrust, alienation, and extremism, it is all the more difficult to secure democratic self-rule when neither those in power nor the general public seem dependable when it comes to making decisions that can transform our lives, for better or worse. In the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, Henry Tam explores what should be done to revive democracy. Presenting in a clear and accessible manner, he goes beyond the familiar ‘get the vote out’ ideas, to set out 9 key areas where reforms are necessary to ensure we can govern ourselves more effectively. Against the suggestion that democracy has run its course, this book unpacks why democratic governance is indispensable and puts forward forty recommendations to help us avoid the twin threats of oppressive rule and debilitating chaos.

How Social Movements Can Save Democracy

How Social Movements Can Save Democracy

Author: Donatella della Porta

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781509542123

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 716

The birth of democracies owes much to the interventions and mobilizations of ordinary people. Yet many feel as though they have inherited democratic institutions which do not deliver for the people – that a rigid democratic process has been imposed from above, with increasing numbers of people feeling left out or left behind. In this well-researched volume, leading political sociologist Donatella della Porta rehabilitates the role social movements have long played in fostering and deepening democracy, particularly focusing on progressive movements of the Left which have sought to broaden the plurality of voices and knowledge in democratic debate. Bridging social movement studies and democratic theory, della Porta investigates contemporary innovations in times of crisis, particularly those in the direction of participatory and deliberative practices – ‘crowd-sourced constitutions’, referendums from below and movement parties – and reflects on the potential and limits of such alternative politics. In a moment in which concerns increase for the potential disruption of a Great Regression led by xenophobic movements and parties, the cases and analyses of resistance in this volume offer important material for students and scholars of political sociology, political science and social movement studies.

How to Save a Constitutional Democracy

How to Save a Constitutional Democracy

Author: Tom Ginsburg

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226564388

Category: Law

Page: 306

View: 282

Democracies are in danger. Around the world, a rising wave of populist leaders threatens to erode the core structures of democratic self rule. In the United States, the election of Donald Trump marked a decisive turning point for many. What kind of president calls the news media the “enemy of the American people,” or sees a moral equivalence between violent neo-Nazi protesters in paramilitary formation and residents of a college town defending the racial and ethnic diversity of their homes? Yet, whatever our concerns about the current president, we can be assured that the Constitution offers safeguards to protect against lasting damage—or can we? How to Save a Constitutional Democracy mounts an urgent argument that we can no longer afford to be complacent. Drawing on a rich array of other countries’ experiences with democratic backsliding, Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Z. Huq show how constitutional rules can either hinder or hasten the decline of democratic institutions. The checks and balances of the federal government, a robust civil society and media, and individual rights—such as those enshrined in the First Amendment—do not necessarily succeed as bulwarks against democratic decline. Rather, Ginsburg and Huq contend, the sobering reality for the United States is that, to a much greater extent than is commonly realized, the Constitution’s design makes democratic erosion more, not less, likely. Its structural rigidity has had the unforeseen consequence of empowering the Supreme Court to fill in some details—often with doctrines that ultimately facilitate rather than inhibit the infringement of rights. Even the bright spots in the Constitution—the First Amendment, for example—may have perverse consequences in the hands of a deft communicator, who can degrade the public sphere by wielding hateful language that would be banned in many other democracies. But we—and the rest of the world—can do better. The authors conclude by laying out practical steps for how laws and constitutional design can play a more positive role in managing the risk of democratic decline.

Time to Save Democracy

Time to Save Democracy

Author: Tam, Henry

Publisher: Policy Press

ISBN: 9781447338246

Category: Political Science

Page: 312

View: 430

In the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, Henry Tam explores what should be done to revive democracy, setting out in a clear and accessible manner 9 key areas where reforms are necessary to ensure we can govern ourselves more effectively.

Saving Democracy

Saving Democracy

Author: Kevin O'Leary

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804754985

Category: Political Science

Page: 308

View: 187

Saving Democracy presents a bold yet practical plan for reinventing American democracy for the twenty-first century. The book diagnoses contemporary political ills as symptoms of corruption in our large republic and develops a new understanding of representative democracy. Building on the ideas of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, Saving Democracy shows how it is possible to combine the traditional town hall and the Internet to fashion a new theory of representative government that empowers citizens and bridges the enormous gap that now exists between the political elite and the average voter. Under the author's plan, in each of the nation's 435 congressional districts a local assembly of 100 citizens, selected by lot, would meet to discuss the major domestic and international issues. The role of this assembly would be deliberative and advisory and its views would constitute a second, more sophisticated and informed measure of public opinion than traditional public opinion polls. The next step would be the establishment of the People's House, which would hold actual legislative power.

Saving Democracy

Saving Democracy

Author: Gerry Stoker

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781350328273

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 569

Democracy is in crisis. Is there still time to save it? Democracies face external threat from aggressive authoritarian states. Internally, citizens have grown increasingly distrustful of politicians and more cynical about national and global governance institutions. The time is ripe for democracy to renew itself. This text offers a state-of-the art overview of democratic innovations today, moving beyond cries of the 'death' or 'end' of democracy to instead offer a range of practical solutions for how to save it and restore faith in democratic practice. 'Old' democratic power, represented by existing structures, is being challenged. 'New' power involves collaboration and rapid feedback loops, as well as increased citizen participation. The future of democracy, the authors demonstrate, will be about findings ways of melding 'old' and 'new' power practices. Offering a broad and accessible survey of what different forms of democracy and democratic innovations look like today, and how they can develop in future, Saving Democracy shows us the potential for transformation across the entire democratic process. Avoiding a reductive focus on simply getting citizens more involved in decision-making, this book uniquely argues for the importance of refining and monitoring how democratic decisions are made and followed through.

Saving Globalization

Saving Globalization

Author: Mike Moore

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9780470825037

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 357

View: 424

Globalization is not new, nor is it a policy, it’s a process that has existed as long as man looked over the horizon, travelled and traded. It can’t be stopped but it can be slowed. It came to a grinding halt in August 1914 and the Marxist detour cost millions of lives and lost three generations their opportunity and hope in many countries. More wealth has been created in the past 60 years than in all of history. After the most successful decade of sustained economic growth in history, this progress is threatened. Extreme inequality, corruption and environmental degradation threaten the stability and legitimacy of many developing countries’ regimes. Anti-globalization and anti-capitalist campaigners’ confidence has been emboldened due to the present economic crisis. Protectionist rhetoric is growing as are the arguments to control and regulate markets. Leaders are meeting to discuss how to face these problems and create a new international architecture. How did we get to this position? What should we do? What is it that determines why some contemporary states are successful while others have failed? Saving Globalization departs from its analysis of the globalised economy in the twenty-first century to answer these question by tracing the development of what Moore considers to be ‘the big ideas of history’: democracy, independent courts, the separation of church and state, property rights, independent courts, a professional civil service, and civil society. Democratic capitalism has worked for most people. Why? It is a remarkable story, from the Greeks to the Geeks, encompassing technological progress and the corrections and contradictions between liberty and equality, technology, growth and the environment. In defence of the many virtues and opportunities that globalisation offers, Mike Moore makes the case for a fresh and new approach to our international Institutions and for domestic policies that promote equity and fairness. The book controversially attacks the new enemies of reason and evidence. The threats now come from all sides, especially workers in developed countries who fear for their jobs. Mike Moore is a political practitioner turned theoretician.

Responsible Parties

Responsible Parties

Author: Frances McCall Rosenbluth

Publisher:

ISBN: 0300251947

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 968

How popular democracy has paradoxically eroded trust in political systems worldwide, and how to restore confidence in democratic politics Democracies across the world are adopting reforms to bring politics closer to the people. Parties have turned to primaries and local caucuses to select candidates. Ballot initiatives and referenda allow citizens to enact laws directly. Many democracies now use proportional representation, encouraging smaller, more specific parties rather than two dominant ones. Yet voters keep getting angrier. There is a steady erosion of trust in politicians, parties, and democratic institutions, culminating most recently in major populist victories in the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. Frances Rosenbluth and Ian Shapiro argue that devolving power to the grass roots is part of the problem, not the solution. Efforts to decentralize political decision‑making make governments and especially political parties less effective and less able to address constituents' long‑term interests. To revive confidence in governance, we must restructure our political systems to restore power to the core institution of representative democracy: the political party.

The People Vs Tech

The People Vs Tech

Author: Jamie Bartlett

Publisher: Ebury Press

ISBN: 1785039067

Category: Democracy

Page: 242

View: 671

'This book could not have come at a better moment...The People Vs Tech makes clear that there is still time - just - for us to take back control.' - Camilla Cavendish, Sunday Times The internet was meant to set us free. Tech has radically changed the way we live our lives. But have we unwittingly handed too much away to shadowy powers behind a wall of code, all manipulated by a handful of Silicon Valley utopians, ad men, and venture capitalists? And, in light of recent data breach scandals around companies like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, what does that mean for democracy, our delicately balanced system of government that was created long before big data, total information and artificial intelligence? In this urgent polemic, Jamie Bartlett argues that through our unquestioning embrace of big tech, the building blocks of democracy are slowly being removed. The middle class is being eroded, sovereign authority and civil society is weakened, and we citizens are losing our critical faculties, maybe even our free will. The People Vs Techis an enthralling account of how our fragile political system is being threatened by the digital revolution. Bartlett explains that by upholding six key pillars of democracy, we can save it before it is too late. We need to become active citizens; uphold a shared democratic culture; protect free elections; promote equality; safeguard competitive and civic freedoms; and trust in a sovereign authority. This essential book shows that the stakes couldn't be higher and that, unless we radically alter our course, democracy will join feudalism, supreme monarchies and communism as just another political experiment that quietly disappeared.

Firms as Political Entities

Firms as Political Entities

Author: Isabelle Ferreras

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108415941

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 231

View: 613

Aimed at political sciences students and teachers, Ferreras presents the new idea of 'economic bicameralism' to redefine firms as political entities.