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Democracy

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Empirical effects of direct democracy

By Stefan Voigt / 28 October, 2019

Direct democracy is often discussed from a normative angle: supporters praise its deliberative and participatory qualities whereas critics doubt that the citizens are sufficiently well informed to make far-reaching decisions directly. This contribution analyses direct democracy from an empirical angle: it delves into the effects that direct democracy tools have...

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Initiative and referendum in a hostile context

By Raul Magni-Berton / 28 October, 2019

In France, participatory democracy is constantly developing. Today, over 50 cities have adopted a participatory budget, and a large number have also launched citizens’ assemblies. Direct Democracy, however, remains a taboo. Through the attempt made by the Grenoble City Council in 2016 to experiment with Direct Democracy, it is possible...

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Lisbon: a decade of Participatory Budget

By Miguel Silva Graça / 28 October, 2019

Amongst the many European cities that have made their experiences with Participatory Budgeting (PB), Lisbon was the first capital city, already in 2008. The experience has shown that PB clearly lead to a better performance of the municipality itself, by providing a better public service and pursuing fairer public policies,...

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Intensifying democracy

By Giovanni Allegretti / 21 October, 2019

Involving citizens in choosing policy priorities has proven able to increase their quality of life. When the discussion between institutions and citizens focuses on resources, spaces to discuss different scenarios for increasing wealth and rationalising the expenditures of the places where we live emerge. Participatory Budgeting is a democratic innovation...

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From open doors to a closed society

By Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz / 2 October, 2019

On June 4, 1989 – on the same day that students died in Tiananmen Square – parliamentary elections were held in Poland. For the first time, real opposition candidates were allowed to participate. The resulting opposition-led government opened the door to historical changes in the country and beyond. The 2004...

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Democracy could not be saved without addressing social inequality

By Jaroslav Bílek / 1 October, 2019

According to a recent German study, inequality regarding access to education and health care, raises the probability of the collapse of democracy. Researchers Julia Leininger, Anna Luhrmann, and Rachel Sigman from the German Development Institute (Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik) recently published a crucial political study concerning the influence of social...

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“Citizens need to organise against the social media regime”

By Vincent Mosco / 12 August, 2019

Big Tech and governments are creating a powerful system of surveillance capitalism. But Vincent Mosco sees alternatives: citizens’ mobilisation, applying anti-monopoly legislation, breaking the likes of Google and Facebook and European alternatives are amongst them. Progressive Post: In your book ‘Becoming Digital’, you analyse the convergence of different technologies (Internet...

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Direct democracy to empower parliamentarism and public discourse

By Ralf-Uwe Beck / 30 July, 2019

Only with direct democracy as a complement to representative democracy the government power will really come from the people. Direct democracy strengthens representative democracy: it makes it more representative. Direct-democratic procedures encourage public discourse and thus also prevent populism. In an election we put our trust in democracy. This trust...

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Tightening the knot

By Tom Dobber / 18 June, 2019

Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) killing democracy? The short answer is no. Not yet. However, AI does affect core principles of democratic societies. Let us take a look at one fundamental pillar of democracies: elections. Elections are preceded by a campaign period in which voters find themselves on a marketplace of...

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Resisting surveillance

By Shoshana Zuboff / 7 June, 2019

Shoshana Zuboff’s new book ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ explores a new step in the history of capitalism, where big tech, and increasingly other branches of the economy, are making profits with data, extracted from citizens without their consent, and transformed into raw material for behaviour predictions – with destructive effects on the...

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