The practice of democracy: A selection of civic engagement initiatives

17-06-2020

Public authorities are currently facing extraordinary challenges. These include managing an unprecedented public health crisis, restoring economic growth without damaging the environment, combating inequality, securing peace, and many more. In the coming decades, public regulators, and with them academics, civil society actors and corporate powers, will have to confront another dilemma that is fast becoming a clear and present challenge: whether to preserve and protect the current structures of democratic governance, in spite of the widespread perception of their inefficiency, or to adapt them to fast-changing scenarios (and in doing so run the risk of further weakening democracy). The tension between these two opposing tendencies raises a number of key questions, to which policy-makers and analysts need to find answers. What is driving this transformation of democratic systems? Should new, hybrid forms of democratic participation replace classic democratic structures? And, lastly, amid these transformative processes, how are power roles to be redistributed?

Public authorities are currently facing extraordinary challenges. These include managing an unprecedented public health crisis, restoring economic growth without damaging the environment, combating inequality, securing peace, and many more. In the coming decades, public regulators, and with them academics, civil society actors and corporate powers, will have to confront another dilemma that is fast becoming a clear and present challenge: whether to preserve and protect the current structures of democratic governance, in spite of the widespread perception of their inefficiency, or to adapt them to fast-changing scenarios (and in doing so run the risk of further weakening democracy). The tension between these two opposing tendencies raises a number of key questions, to which policy-makers and analysts need to find answers. What is driving this transformation of democratic systems? Should new, hybrid forms of democratic participation replace classic democratic structures? And, lastly, amid these transformative processes, how are power roles to be redistributed?