Democracy Ever After? Perspectives on Power and Representation

Democracy is politics in motion. Rather than residing in immovable structures and institutions, it takes its form in everyday acts and processes at every level of society. Majorities wax and wane, alliances shift, divisions open and close, and sometimes earthquakes send shockwaves through the whole system. Democracy remains fundamentally a battleground, not only for competing visions for society, but also over the very meaning of democracy itself. Between progressive movements fighting to extend rights and freedoms and the exclusionary politics of the far right, this edition examines the struggle over democracy and representation in Europe today. With its future direction uncertain, the way for Greens and progressives to defend democracy is by steering it towards ever greater fairness, inclusion, and participation.

Articles in this edition

26.05.2021
Turning the Tide

As the movement that politicised the relationship between society and nature in the West, green politics is at the forefront of not just democracy’s defence, but its reinvention.

EN
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26.05.2021
Defining Democracy for a Sovereign Europe

Shahin Vallée and Franziska Brantner debate European democracy, transnational politics, and the meaning of sovereignty. A conversation with Edouard Gaudot.

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26.05.2021
There Is Life in the Party Yet

An interview on the critical infrastructure on which our democracies are built and its transformation.

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26.05.2021
Feminist Finland: From Representation to Equality

Silja Kudel asks how far women’s participation in politics has taken Finland on the road to an equal society.

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26.05.2021
A State of Disrepair: Democracy in the United Kingdom

The government has exploited cultural issues to the detriment of democratic rights and norms, putting already vulnerable groups further at risk.

EN
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26.05.2021
Backs Against the Wall: Bringing the Fight Back

Ece Temelkuran warns of the signs of creeping authoritarianism.

EN
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26.05.2021
Democracy in the Pandemic: The State of Play

Avoiding alarmism and complacency, these infographics show us how democracies have coped under crisis.

EN
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26.05.2021
No Time for Castles: From Closed to Open Democracy

For proponents of deliberative democracy, today’s representative regimes offer nothing more than illusion.

EN
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26.05.2021
Citizens’ Assemblies Won’t Save Us

Citizens’ assemblies will not be a silver bullet for the climate crisis.

EN
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26.05.2021
Promised Lands in Manfredonia: Environmental Justice Is About Democracy

A photo essay by Sofia Cherici and Federico Ambrosini tells the story of how, for one Italian town, democracy is an ongoing struggle for justice and self-determination.

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26.05.2021
The People’s Parliament: A Home for European Democracy

The European Parliament bears the responsibility for nurturing the development of a truly trans-European citizenry.

EN
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26.05.2021
Hannah Arendt: The Political Animal in the 21st Century

Hannah Arendt's work can shed light on the reinvigoration of democracy at a time of corroded trust in political institutions, an emboldened far right, and ecological breakdown.

EN
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26.05.2021
Elinor Ostrom: The Case for a Messy Federalism

In studying real-world alternatives to state control and organisation via the market, Elinor Ostrom urges us to expand the notion of what democracy means.

EN
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26.05.2021
David Graeber: The Power of the Imagination

David Graeber's insights on the imagination and the practice of democracy have inspired many not just to see the world differently, but to seek to change it.

EN
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26.05.2021
Belarus’s Struggle for Democracy

Pavel Latushka, a key figure in Belarus’s opposition, discusses the movement for democracy with Roderick Kefferpütz.

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26.05.2021
Down but Not Out: Central Europe’s Independent Media

Despite the shrinking space and pressure from governments, some outlets in these countries have proved resilient.

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26.05.2021
Never Far: Populism as the Shadow of Democracy

It is time to let go of the assumption that democracy always leads to progressive outcomes.

EN
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26.05.2021
After Modernity: Citizenship Beyond the Nation State?

If democracy stays cast in its national mould, the path ahead may be one of exclusion and disenfranchisement.

EN
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26.05.2021
Thinking Ecological Democracy with Benoît Lechat

Jonathan Piron discusses Benoît Lechat’s contribution to ecological thinking about democracy.

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26.05.2021
Indirect Democracy: Referendums in Europe

Rather than judging referendums as positive or negative, we should examine their distinctive political features and contexts.

EN
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26.05.2021
Referendums in Hungary: Confirmation Bias

The Hungarian government's use of referendums shows how direct democracy can be used to lend a veneer of legitimacy to a party's own policy agenda.

EN
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26.05.2021
Referendums in Ireland: Taking Care of the Constitution

Ireland's model of amending the constitution through a national debate among the people provides an important route to progress

EN
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26.05.2021
Referendums in Italy: Direct Democracy under Controlled Conditions

Designed to safeguard against a return of authoritarianism, the Italian constitutional framework leaves little space for direct democracy - yet referendums are not uncommon in the country.

EN
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26.05.2021
Referendums in Romania: A Route to Political Capital

Referendums in Romania have been instrumentalised by various political actors as strategies to increase legitimacy and popularity.

EN
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26.05.2021
Switzerland: Referendums in an Incomparable Young Democracy

Switzerland is often hailed as a model of direct democracy. But these processes may prove difficult to replicate elsewhere for many reasons.

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26.05.2021
Malta: Referendums under a Postcolonial Shadow

The national debates that accompany referendums in Malta are strongly shaped by the country's enduring bipartisan political landscape.

EN
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26.05.2021
Referendums in the UK: Caveat Emptor

The UK's mixed experience with referendums reflects the variety of situations in which they are applied - with far-reaching consequences.

EN
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