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Katherine Fierlbeck

) The romanticization of democracy It is possible that the reason democracy is so resonant today is because it speaks to our desire for justice. This idea of ‘justice’ is, of course, unapologetically contemporary, and has its origins in early modern accounts which grounded political legitimacy upon consent. Why, for us, is a political regime ‘just’? Not because it conforms to

in Globalizing democracy
From New Labour to the Big Society
Author: Hugh Atkinson

There is a widespread view that local democracy in Britain is in deep trouble and that people face a crisis of civic engagement and political participation. This book counterweighs the many negative accounts that seek to dominate the political discourse with talks on political apathy and selfish individualism. It commences with an examination of theoretical debates as to the meaning of local democracy and related concepts. The book looks at the policy agenda around local democracy in the context of the developing nature of central/local relations since 1979. It considers the available evidence on level of political participation and civic engagement by looking at eight themes. These include the state of formal politics, forms of civic engagement, community identity and the emerging world of the internet/world wide web. The book also looks at nine key aspects of the reform of local democracy over the last fifteen years, including local democracy and the New Labour reform agenda; the constitutional position of local government; and double devolution. It focuses on the so-called 'crisis of formal democracy' at the local level. The book ascertains the recent developments beyond the realm of elections, political parties and formal political institutions. It then concentrates on local services and policy attempts to widen public participation in the shaping and delivery of such services. Finally, the book discusses the concept of sustainability and regeneration strategies to build sustainable communities, both physical and social.

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Katherine Fierlbeck

meaningfulness Proponents of ‘globalization’ have observed, no doubt with some satisfaction, that there is an increasing consensus across (and within) states that ‘democracy’ is the correct standard upon which to judge the political legitimacy of states. But this contentment must, upon reflection, be considerably lessened by the realization that the consensus on what, precisely, is

in Globalizing democracy
Open Access (free)
John Narayan

1 Creative Democracy Optimism about democracy is today under a cloud. (LW2: 304) Unfashionable democracy When Dewey published The Public and Its Problems in 1927, democracy had become somewhat of an unfashionable aspiration, with populations in Europe beginning to turn to the extreme Left and Right for their political settlements. In Russia the October Revolution was nearly ten years old, in Italy Mussolini had been in power for three years and in Germany both volumes of Mein Kampf had been published. At home in the United States of America, even the pretence

in John Dewey
Costas Simitis

2 New Democracy’s criminal indifference By the end of 2003, Greece’s international standing had risen drastically compared with the preceding decade and the efforts made to actively participate in European developments had gained international recognition. Greece was a member of the EMU and the introduction of the euro had been accomplished without difficulty. The Greek presidency of 2003 had succeeded in maintaining European unity over the Iraq crisis. The completion of negotiations over the accession of new states – including Cyprus – into the Union, as well

in The European debt crisis
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Kamal Ramburuth-Hurt

In this chapter, we argue that it is necessary to reclaim economics as everyday democracy and we set out steps to achieve this goal. The aim is to build the democratic institutions, skills and practices that are necessary to enable everyone to participate in decisions about how the economy they live in is organised. This must be accompanied by

in Reclaiming economics for future generations
Geoffrey K. Roberts

The political system of the Federal Republic is sometimes described as ‘chancellor democracy’, because of the dominant role occupied by the chancellor in that political system. 1 This chapter surveys the way in which the Basic Law provides the political instruments that permit the chancellor to play such a dominant role. It is important, though, to concede that the chancellor’s powers in actuality will also depend on the political circumstances of the time, the personality of the chancellor and the party system. The constraints on the chancellor’s political

in German politics today (third edition)
Between promise and practice
Author: Darren Halpin

Whether called pressure groups, NGOs, social movement organisations or organised civil society, the value of ‘groups’ to the policy process, to economic growth, to governance, to political representation and to democracy has always been contested. However, there seems to be a contemporary resurgence in this debate, largely centred on their democratising potential: can groups effectively link citizens to political institutions and policy processes? Are groups an antidote to emerging democratic deficits? Or do they themselves face challenges in demonstrating their legitimacy and representativeness? This book debates the democratic potential and practice of groups, focusing on the vibrancy of internal democracies, and modes of accountability with those who join such groups and to the constituencies they advocate for. It draws on literatures covering national, European and global levels, and presents empirical material from the UK and Australia.

Community–university research partnerships in global perspectives

This book is based on a three-year international comparative study on poverty reduction and sustainability strategies . It provides evidence from twenty case studies around the world on the power and potential of community and higher education based scholars and activists working together in the co-creation of transformative knowledge. Opening with a theoretical overview of knowledge, democracy and action, the book is followed by analytical chapters providing lessons learned and capacity building, and on the theory and practice of community university research partnerships. It also includes lessons on models of evaluation, approaches to measuring the impact and an agenda for future research and policy recommendations. The book overviews the concept of engaged scholarship and then moves to focus on community-university research partnerships. It is based on a global empirical study of the role of community-university research partnerships within the context of poverty alleviation, the creation of sustainable societies and, broadly speaking, the Millennium Development Goals. The book frames the contribution of community-university research partnerships within a larger knowledge democracy framework, linking this practice to other spaces of knowledge democracy. These include the open access movement, new acceptance of the methods of community-based and participatory research and the call for cognitive justice or the need for epistemologies of the Global South. It takes a particular look at the variety of structures that have been created in the various universities and civil society research organizations to facilitate and enhance research partnerships.

Kirsten Haack

Democracy is a powerful idea with deep historical roots. Emancipatory in character, claims for democracy have instigated and responded to considerable social and political change, challenging established ideas of political rule and the nature of society. Yet active engagement in democracy support has long been anathema to the UN because democracy support in a world of sovereign states means intervention in domestic political affairs and, worse for some, the promotion of Western ideas. Despite this, today democracy has an international

in The United Nations democracy agenda