🦋 Recovering democratic possibilities in complex political systems

Making sense of democratic systems

What can these words tell us about the meaning of democracy? Words capture interpretations of democracy at a specific moment in time and space. Such interpretations can be a form of resistance, critique, expression of an ideal, or a more technical innovation.

Recovering a sense of possibility

Making sense of democracy today is a political challenge in itself. There is a prevailing sense of disrepair in today’s democracies that clouds our collective capacity to imagine and project ourselves into the future. Echoing Simone Chambers, today’s environmental, political, economic, and health crises force us to address the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’, and require democratic theory to be more innovative and engaged. New practices and arrangements will continue to emerge and challenge more established ones as democracies adapt to new realities. Whether these new practices and arrangements will reflect democratic ideals or not should be our main concern.

Hope and democracy

It is impossible to say what democracy will look like in thirty or fifty years. Yet the probability that it will be different is high. The near future will be characterised by, among other things, the climate crisis and a growing disengagement with traditional political structures and processes. Such challenges could easily trigger a sense of hopelessness in democratic politics.



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The Science of Democracy

The Science of Democracy

Republished essays, in chronological order, from The Loop’s short essay series on the “science of democracy”