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Twenty proposals to defend liberal democracy

The populist wave which has submerged Europe and the United States in recent years seems unstoppable. But is it? The End of Populism offers answers and proposes concrete solutions to confront the rise of “illiberal democracy.” Drawing on years of research, the author develops a complete new ideal type of populism, which enables him to identify the basic problems. Deploying a wealth of social science evidence, he refutes the populist claim that democracy is a “demand side” phenomenon, and demonstrates that it is rather a “supply side” phenomenon. He argues that one can have "too much democracy” and shows how methods of direct democracy, such as popular initiatives, referendums, and open primaries, which pretend “to give the power back to the people,” have led to manipulation by populists and moneyed interests. Populist attacks on the judiciary, central banks, the media, and other independent agencies, instead of strengthening democracy, have rather undermined liberal democracy. The author formulates twenty original and bold proposals to fight populism and defend liberal democracy. These proposals include ways to bridge the gap between the people and the elites, fight corruption, improve political party funding, and initiate societal, educational, and macro-economic reforms to increase economic equality and alleviate the insecurity of the citizens.

Paul Currion

have. This is not a problem until a situation arises which presents an existential threat and a paradigm shift is required purely for survival, which was of course the rationale that the original ALNAP study gave for innovation. This rationale draws on the idea of creative destruction, the phrase coined by Joseph Schumpeter to describe how the ‘fundamental impulse that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers’ goods, the new methods of production or transportation

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Marcel H. Van Herpen

democratic demand.” According to this theory, a democratic polity realizes the demand of the people for the common good. This demand is directly expressed by their common will. In this theory there is no need for a supply of ideas about the “common good” by political leaders and political parties. The presupposition of this theory is that there is a pre-existing idea of the common good, known intuitively by the citizens, who do not need the support or mediation of other political actors or experts to know what they want. Joseph Schumpeter’s attack on classical democratic

in The end of populism
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Matthew G. Stanard

biographies and the 1943 Bengal famine’, Studies in History , 24, 2 (2008), pp. 235–43. 7 Joseph Schumpeter, Imperialism and Social Classes , trans. Heinz Norden (Oxford 1951). 8 Peo Hansen, ‘European integration

in European empires and the people
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Quo vadis democracy?
Matt Qvortrup

–1114) Ms Betty Boothroyd was right to warn Parliament against the everpresent dangers of political apathy – turnout has dropped in recent years (though it did go up marginally in 2005). However, politics is more than just voting. The idea that political involvement is nothing more than our right to choose our rulers, as proposed by John Stuart Mill and Joseph Schumpeter, is but one model of democracy – and not an unchallenged one at that. Twentieth-century writers and politicians have argued that political participation can assume other forms, including protests, signing

in The politics of participation

The well-being of Europe’s citizens depends less on individual consumption and more on their social consumption of essential goods and services – from water and retail banking to schools and care homes – in what we call the foundational economy. Individual consumption depends on market income, while foundational consumption depends on social infrastructure and delivery systems of networks and branches, which are neither created nor renewed automatically, even as incomes increase. This historically created foundational economy has been wrecked in the last generation by privatisation, outsourcing, franchising and the widespread penetration of opportunistic and predatory business models. The distinctive, primary role of public policy should therefore be to secure the supply of basic services for all citizens (not a quantum of economic growth and jobs). Reconstructing the foundational has to start with a vision of citizenship that identifies foundational entitlements as the conditions for dignified human development, and likewise has to depend on treating the business enterprises central to the foundational economy as juridical persons with claims to entitlements but also with responsibilities and duties. If the aim is citizen well-being and flourishing for the many not the few, then European politics at regional, national and EU level needs to be refocused on foundational consumption and securing universal minimum access and quality. If/when government is unresponsive, the impetus for change has to come from engaging citizens locally and regionally in actions which break with the top down politics of ‘vote for us and we will do this for you’.

Geography and the British electoral system

Representational democracy is at the heart of the UK’s political constitution, and the electoral system is central to achieving it. But is the first-past-the-post system used to elect the UK parliament truly representative? To answer that question requires an understanding of several factors: debates over the nature of representation; the evolution of the current electoral system; how first-past-the-post distorts electoral politics; and how else elections might be conducted. Running through all these debates are issues over the representation not only of people but also of places. The book examines all of these issues and focuses on the effect of geography on the operation of the electoral system.

The theoretical justification for citizen involvement
Matt Qvortrup

1 The political theory of direct democracy: the theoretical justification for citizen involvement Since the French Revolution and certainly for the better part of the past 100 years, representative democracy has been the norm. Joseph Schumpeter – an economist and political theorist – summed up the prevailing view in his acclaimed book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy: [Democracy does] not mean and cannot mean that the people actually rule in any obvious sense of the terms ‘people’ and ‘rule.’ Democracy means only that the people have the opportunity of

in Direct democracy

Karl Polanyi (1886–1964) returned to public discourse in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded and globalization erupted. Best known for The Great Transformation, Polanyi’s wide-ranging thought anticipated twenty-first-century civilizational challenges of ecological collapse, social disintegration and international conflict, and warned that the unbridled domination of market capitalism would engender nationalist protective counter-movements. In Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt bring together prominent and new thinkers in the field to extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi's life and work. Kari Polanyi Levitt's opening essay situates Polanyi in the past century shaped by Keynes and Hayek, and explores how and why his ideas may shape the twenty-first century. Her analysis of his Bennington Lectures, which pre-dated and anticipated The Great Transformation, demonstrates how Central European his thought and chief concerns were. The next several contributions clarify, for the first time in Polanyi scholarship, the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Other contributions resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi's thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States' exceptional development, the reality of society and socialism as freedom in a complex society. The volume culminates in explorations of how Polanyi has influenced, and can be used to develop, ideas in a number of fields, whether income inequality, world-systems theory or comparative political economy. Contributors: Fred Block, Michael Brie, Radhika Desai, Michael Hudson, Hannes Lacher, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Chikako Nakayama, Jamie Peck, Abraham Rotstein, Margaret Somers, Claus Thomasberger, Oscar Ugarteche Galarza.

Vittorio Bufacchi

, and over the years numerous thinkers have reasoned that the system of taxation is synonymous with the establishment of modern statehood. According to economist Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950) the modern capitalist state is first and foremost a tax state, while sociologist Norbert Elias (1897–1990) considered taxation a necessary condition in the slow process of civilization. Philosophical inquiry in the ethics of taxation is almost as old as philosophy itself, with Plato commenting in Book I of the Republic that ‘When there is an income tax, the just man will pay

in Everything must change