The Conversation: Is Democracy Dead or Alive? Democracy has a future, if we rethink and remake it

Politics and International Relations 20 February 2018

Graham Smith, Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster who has earlier helped to organise a Citizen Assembly on Brexit, contributed to a collection of comments on The Conversation about the future of democracy.

The collection of comments is a joint project between The Conversation, the Sydney Democracy Network and the interdisciplinary journal Democratic Theory, and will be published in full length in a special issue of the latter.

In his part Professor Smith suggests that short-termism in politics should be overcome for democratic renewal. The sources of short-termism are multiple and mutually reinforcing. These include: short electoral cycles that incentivise limited party-political horizons; vested interests that benefit from current political and economic arrangements; our psychological preference for immediate gratification; an economic system that privileges carbon-based consumption; and unborn generations who are unable to defend their interests.”

However, Professor Graham writes that there are some practices which can be the beginning of a long-term democracy, including “new rights and forms of public participation designed to orientate citizens towards consideration of future generations”.

Read the full article on The Conversation website.


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