Democracy is in decline – or so a growing consensus suggests. Paul Schuler sets out the evidence for claims that people are turning to autocratic alternatives, and asks whether they necessarily show a loss of faith in democracy. He proposes some alternative measures that could establish whether people are genuinely willing to trade freedom for a ‘solution’ to anxieties about immigration, […]
The Brexit vote has thrown different conceptions of democracy into sharp relief. Some are horrified at the conduct of the referendum campaign; others see the result as the revealed will of the people. Luke Temple uses tweets from the March for Europe event on the 3rd September to show how these views clash. He concludes that the pro-EU movement needs a clear aim if it’s to make […]
Referendums are potentially destabilising in parliamentary democracies because they generate alternative, competing sources of legitimacy, writes Nat le Roux. A majority of elected representatives may hold one view on a matter of national importance, and if a referendum demonstrates that a majority of the public hold the opposite view, which manifestation of democratic legitimacy should trump the other?
In Britain, […]
The referendum debate is not living up to its democratic ideals. Both sides of the divide have focused heavily on negative, fear-based arguments to make their case, which prevent democratic engagement among the electorate. Charlotte Galpin shows how this negativity is inhibiting critical reflection and fostering cynicism. She also notes that the debate is non-inclusive, with an striking absence of […]
With the focus often being on party politics, elections, and individual policies, it’s easy to lose sight of the broader framework in which decision-making takes place. In looking at the democratic framework, a fundamental question arises: should democracy be about conflict – one’s values over another’s – or about consensus? George Vasilev explains that the two are not mutually […]
In March 2016, Democratic Dashboard 2.0 was launched, a web portal aimed at giving voters in the UK easily accessible information for the elections on May 5th. This was the culmination of several years of work and preparation by Democratic Audit UK, based in the LSE, seeking to engage voters in the increasingly active civic technology field. Carl Cullinane outlines […]
Across Western democracies there is a clear and well-known correlation between social class and patterns of electoral participation: poorer, manual, less formally educated citizens are less likely to vote than their more affluent, more educated peers. Tim Jones outlines how this feeds through into the language of politics and how mainstream politics talks down to people from positions of power. n response […]
Over the past twelve months the Democracy Matters research team, consisting of academics and campaigners, has been conducting a project on the use of citizens’ assemblies to explore complex elements of constitutional policymaking in the United Kingdom. Here, one of those campaigners, Katie Ghose, discusses the findings of the project and explains why we need to act upon them.
It’s not […]