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.

About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

For the media

For the media

Here we hope you find everything you will need to research, write and publish your story or blog post.