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The politics of consultation in Britain and Australia
Author: Rob Manwaring

This book attempts to understand how two sister centre-left parties, the British Labour Party and the Australian Labor Party (ALP), have sought to adapt to the modern era and effect changes. It identifies and examines a range of drivers for Labour's desire to experiment and find new forms of citizen engagement. Linked to the influence of the New Social Democracy (NSD) is the lingering legacy of the new public management (NPM) reforms implemented in the public sectors in both countries. For Labour, democratic renewal is an attempt to secure wider legitimacy in neoliberal settings; similarly, the NSD is also linked to the debates about the perceived shift from government to governance. The NSD has attempted to respond to these debates and in Britain a concerted effort has been made to reformulate the role of the state and, by extension, civil society. The book examines how far the NSD has influenced Labour governments in Britain and Australia. It establishes Labour's interest in democratic renewal, specifically, the role of political participation and civic engagement in the wider context of democratic theory. Given that the NSD calls for an 'active citizenry', this is important. A central motif of democratic theory is an ambivalence about the role of political participation in a modern liberal democratic polity. The book explores how far New Social Democratic governments in Britain and Australia have been successful in seeking to link new forms of public dialogue to existing democratic decision-making processes in the modern western world.

Towards epistemological infinitude?
Peter Triantafillou

technocratic policymaking at the expense of democratic decision-making. The emergence of the experimental society and its rapport with (critical) neoliberalism EP is based on the apparently simple and innocuous assumption that politics should be founded on the best available knowledge (Triantafillou, 2015a). The notion that political governing will benefit from being based on truthful (scientific) knowledge is of course not very new. From Plato’s philosopher kings (Plato, 1930, Book 5) and Machiavelli’s advice to the prince to the Saint-Simonians and August Comte (Comte

in Neoliberal power and public management reforms
Abstract only
Rob Manwaring

to resolve these debates by institutionalising news mechanisms for enriching democratic decision-making processes and enhancing the quality of public debate. Yet deliberative democracy is difficult to enact in mass societies, and political elites remain wedded to the existing architecture of representative democracy. The cases that comprise this book explore how far New Social Democratic governments in Britain and Australia have been successful in seeking to link new forms of public dialogue to existing democratic decision-making processes in the modern western

in The search for democratic renewal
Lea Bou Khater

the Future Movement retreated and issued opposing statements defying the orders of their leadership. This bold step encouraged the general assemblies of teachers’ leagues to vote unanimously to uphold the marking boycott. The teachers’ defiance of their political parties’ position was a breakthrough in the sectarian political system and highlighted the strong, democratic and independent decision-making of the UCC. This was in stark contrast to the GCWL’s lack of democratic decision-making and significant political

in The labour movement in Lebanon

This book explores contemporary urban experiences connected to practices of sharing and collaboration. Part of a growing discussion on the cultural meaning and the politics of urban commons, it uses examples from Europe and Latin America to support the view that a world of mutual support and urban solidarity is emerging today in, against, and beyond existing societies of inequality. In such a world, people experience the potentialities of emancipation activated by concrete forms of space commoning. By focusing on concrete collective experiences of urban space appropriation and participatory design experiments this book traces differing, but potentially compatible, trajectories through which common space (or space-as-commons) becomes an important factor in social change. In the everydayness of self-organized neighborhoods, in the struggles for justice in occupied public spaces, in the emergence of “territories in resistance,” and in dissident artistic practices of collaborative creation, collective inventiveness produces fragments of an emancipated society.

Marcel H. Van Herpen

particularly be the case “with qualitative issues, such as the question whether to persecute heretics or to enter upon a war, the result attained may well, though for different reasons, be equally distasteful to all the people.” 11 Democratic decision-making, such is Schumpeter’s conclusion, is no guarantee of the realization of the “common good.” Both assumptions of classical, eighteenth-century democracy theory – that the citizens intuitively know the common good and that their “common will” expresses this common good – are pure myths which do not stand up to a reality

in The end of populism
Bill Jones

Statistics. Civil society This is the complex web of relationships which exist between citizens – social, economic and via voluntary groups. While not specifically political, such contacts enable people to ‘learn’ the rudiments of democratic decision-making and the requirements of fitting in, adjusting and compromising. Britain has long had a history of encouraging a mass of voluntary bodies – for instance scout groups, charity organisations, support groups for those who need them – and, as such, has long been held to provide a healthy ‘soil’ in which democracy can

in British politics today
A pragmatist notion of critique as mediation 
Klaus Geiselhart

reasonable distinction between well-founded and less well-founded ideas and theories. Pragmatist social science can provide important advice for collective, democratic decision-making based on its ability to assist in discerning and assessing the consequences of actions as well as reflecting the validity and relevance of scientific statements. Second, convictions and political positions must be seen as constantly in the making. Since political actors often trigger each other in ways that harden and polarise opinions, good mediation can help to establish mutual

in The power of pragmatism
Chris McInerney

administration administrative checks on democratic decision-­making, not least in the refusal of successive governments to countenance the creation of real local democracy and evidenced in more recent restrictions on the power of local councillors to rezone land. Thus, the notion of public administration as simply subservient to the will of elected representatives becomes more attractively nuanced. Conclusion 5: recognise civic engagement and a strong civil society as components of a healthy democracy In Chapter 4 the relationship between social justice and civic engagement

in Challenging times, challenging administration
Criteria for ecologically rational governance
Lennart J. Lundqvist

sustaining of the arrangements of authority and power within which actors make decisions and frame policies that are binding on individual and collective actors within different territorial bounds, such as those of the state, county and municipality’ (Hanf and Jansen 1998:3). The present systems of governance have grown out of earlier political challenges and shifting power configurations in society. They thus embody different institutional logics, and provide actors with different frames for determining appropriate behaviour. Logics of democratic decision-making, based on

in Sweden and ecological governance