As the Scottish Referendum approached, politicians at Westminster panicked - and by the time it was over they had half-promised all sorts of constitutional reform. Many of us agree that reform is needed, but we'd also like to have a say in what that reform looks like. And this is where the trouble starts.
We've reached a crisis point in our democracy. Many of us feel that democracy is broken. Too many of us distrust our politicians, despair at the rise of bureaucracy and feel ignored when it comes to the decisions that affect our lives. Our democracies rarely seem to reflect the communities that they are supposed to represent. Put bluntly, our democratic systems have become arrogant and controlling.
But how are we to change this? In their new book, 'From arrogance to intimacy – a handbook for active democracies', Andy Williamson and Martin Sande suggest that it's time to reframe democracy and that we have to do this together. That we have to see society as a network and democratic representation happening in this context. This lets us focus on mutuality, trust and co-creation. And it lets us value participation, with those who represent not an elite but part of our network. When we do this we start to become intimate and co-creating. And we create the intention to shift power so it's used 'with' and not 'against'; for the benefit of all not the privilege of the few.
Join the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Democratise to hear Dr Andy Williamson talk about his new book and how we can create an active democracy in the context of the UK's emerging constitutional conversation.
Andy will be joined by Gaia Marcus, Senior Researcher at the RSA working on their Connected Communities project and their social network analysis champion, and Professor Graham Smith from the Centre for the Study of Democracy. The event will be Chaired by Dr Peter Catterall, Reader in History at the University of Westminster.
To attend the event, please sign up on Eventbrite.