Civics Citizenship

Evaluating Democratic Innovations: Curing the Democratic by Kenneth Newton, Brigitte Geissel

By Kenneth Newton, Brigitte Geissel

In the face of accelerating political disenchantment, many Western governments have experimented, with concepts which target to augment the operating and caliber of democracy in addition to expanding electorate’ political know-how and figuring out of political concerns.

This textual content is the main accomplished account of those numerous democratic ideas. Written via an exceptional staff of foreign specialists it examines the theories at the back of those democratic ideas, how they've got labored in perform and evaluates their luck or failure. It explains experiments with new types of democratic engagement such as:

  • Direct Democracy
  • Deliberative Democracy
  • Co-Governance
  • E-Democracy

Drawing on a large choice of theoretical views and with a huge variety of case experiences, this can be crucial examining for all scholars of democratic thought and all people with an curiosity in how we would revitalise democracy and elevate citizen involvement within the political process.

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Additional resources for Evaluating Democratic Innovations: Curing the Democratic Malaise?

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1999) The Rise and Decline of the State, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 20â•… Ken Newton Wisse, E. (2006) Promoting Democracy: An International Exploration of Policy and Implementation Practice, Amsterdam: Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Department of Constitutional Matters and Legislation. Zaller, J. and Feldman, S. (1992) A Simple Theory of Survey Response, American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 36: 579–616. Zittel, T. and Fuchs, D. (2007) Participatory Democracy and Political Participation, London: Routledge.

In the course of the twentieth century, further elements were added: in 1921, the optional referendum was extended to international treaties, and in 1977 the scope of the treaties covered by the referendum was once more enlarged. Since 1949, there has been a referendum for extraordinary decrees, and in 2003, in the context of the latest total revision of the Constitution, the general popular initiative was added to the inventory of direct-democratic procedures. These are the procedures as far as the federal level is concerned.

Switzerland is the only country where politics at all levels – including the national level – is decisively shaped by direct-democratic institutions. Thus, more national popular votes have taken place in Switzerland so far than in any other country. Therefore, the Swiss experience with direct democracy is of utmost importance – for its critics as well as for its supporters, even if the pertinence of this experience has been called into question by some of the critics. Schumpeter (1962: 267), unsurprisingly one of the greatest detractors of direct democracy, has, for example, put into question the relevance of the Swiss experience, because, as he argued, ‘there is so little to quarrel about in a world of peasants which, excepting hotels and banks, contains no great capitalist industry, and the problems of public policy are so simple and so stable that an overwhelming majority can be expected to understand and to agree about them’.

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