Informing and engaging citizens

There are at least 2,234 expressions of ‘democracy’ – and the less common versions can teach us a lot

There are at least 2,234 expressions of ‘democracy’ – and the less common versions can teach us a lot

Over the course of recorded history, the concept of ‘democracy’ has been associated with many different ‘partner’ words, each of which ‘re-versions’ the core concept in a different way. Jean-Paul Gagnon has compiled a database that already includes hundreds of these expressions, some obvious and much-used, but others very specific or little known. What can […]

Is citizen participation actually good for democracy?

Is citizen participation actually good for democracy?

The more people who participate in a democracy, the more democratic it becomes – or so de Tocqueville believed. But sceptics have challenged that assumption on the basis that not everyone has the skills to make informed political decisions. In his new book, Russell J Dalton (University of California, Irvine) argues that the problem lies with […]

How evangelical religion contributed to peace in Northern Ireland

How evangelical religion contributed to peace in Northern Ireland

ECONI – an evangelical Protestant organisation – played a key role in establishing peace in Northern Ireland. Gladys Ganiel explains how its effectiveness rests in part on its credibility: ECONI’s evangelical identity provided it with a legitimacy that some ecumenical peace-building organisations lacked. Similar PostsThe DUP’s extremist links make it unfit to join a Conservative […]

How the EU elite publicises its high-profile work and stays silent about the rest

How the EU elite publicises its high-profile work and stays silent about the rest

The EU policy process is often criticised for being distant from its citizens. Part of this criticism is rooted in a lack of media coverage of EU legislative decision-making, says Iskander De Bruycker. Drawing on a recent study, he illustrates that the extent to which politicians in Brussels address citizens’ interests in the media over a […]

Book review | Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World, by Jamie Bartlett

Book review | Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World, by Jamie Bartlett

In Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World, Jamie Bartlett probes into the worldviews and lives of individuals, groups and movements who are seeking to change the way we live now and examines their ostensibly radical properties. Bartlett’s natural storytelling abilities, shaped by his sensitive yet probing approach, make for an engaging read. This book inspires both enthusiasm and caution about radical […]

Audit 2017: How democratic and effective is the interest group process in the UK?

Audit 2017: How democratic and effective is the interest group process in the UK?

Between elections, the interest group process (along with media and social media coverage) is a key way in which citizens can seek to communicate with their MPs and other representatives, and to influence government policy-makers. As part of our 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, Patrick Dunleavy considers how far different social groups can gain access and […]

Rising violence against women in politics threatens democracy itself

Rising violence against women in politics threatens democracy itself

Violence against female politicians – and the threat of it – is becoming much more common, and not only in Britain. Mona Lena Krook looks at how social media has opened up new channels for harassment, what distinguishes misogynistic attacks, and how other countries are responding to them. Ignoring or playing down the problem is not an […]

Audit 2017: How far does the growth of social media extend or threaten democratic processes and values? Does it foster or impede greater citizen vigilance and control over government?

Audit 2017: How far does the growth of social media extend or threaten democratic processes and values? Does it foster or impede greater citizen vigilance and control over government?

Social media technologies (such as blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram) have brought about radical changes in how the media systems of liberal democracies operate. The platform providers have become powerful actors in the operation of the media system, and in how its links to political processes operate. Yet at the same time […]

Audit 2017: How well does the UK’s media system sustain democratic politics?

Audit 2017: How well does the UK’s media system sustain democratic politics?

The growth of ‘semi-democracies’ across the world, where elections are held but are rigged by state power-holders, has brought into ever-sharper focus the salience of a country’s media system for the quality of its democracy. Free elections without some form of media diversity and balance clearly cannot hope to deliver effective liberal democracy. As part […]

Book review | Lobbying for Change, by Alberto Alemanno

Book review | Lobbying for Change, by Alberto Alemanno

In Lobbying for Change: Find Your Voice to Create a Better Society, Alberto Alemanno seeks to demystify and democratise the practice of lobbying by inspiring readers to become ‘citizen lobbyists’. Serving as both a galvanising wake-up call and an accessible, positive and practical guide to those looking to influence public policy, this book will awaken your inner citizen lobbyist, help […]

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