This definition provides us with a tripartite division of labour. Three types of actors combine through a variety of processes to produce the sumum bonum of political democracy, namely, accountability. We have, therefore, divided our analyses of contemporary transformations and responses into those primarily affecting citizenship, representation or decision making. Citizenship Political discontent Today, one of the most striking features of European democracies is an apparently widespread feeling of political discontent, disaffection, scepticism, dissatisfaction and cynicism among citizens. These reactions are not, or not only, focused on a given political party, government or public policy. They are the result of critical and even hostile perceptions of politicians, political parties, elections, parliaments and governments in general that is across the political spectrum.
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The tendency to acquire information about politics and to receive political messages wealth exclusively from a plurality of sources in the environment mass media, but especially television and the Internet, that are in commercial competition with each other for the attention of consumers and the profit. Guiding rival hypotheses : (1) Mediatisation destroys previously well-established mechanisms whereby citizens discussed politics directly with each other (and their children) and obtained their information and proximate identity through distinctively public and political intermediaries such as parties, associations and unions, and replaces them with. Sense of insecurity definition. An increase in the perception of avoidable risks and the magnitude of their probable consequences for vulnerable individuals and groups due either to threats external to ones own society or to damaging behaviour from ones own co-citizens. Guiding rival hypotheses : (1) The manipulation by rulers of this growing sense of insecurity, especially that due to foreign non-state actors (such as terrorists reduces basic freedoms and promotes aggressive (pre-emptive) behaviour that undermines institutions of the accountability of rulers to citizens and distorts. Part ii processes and actors There are at least three generic models of democracy circulating among theorists and practitioners in contemporary europe. Each of them places primary responsibility on different types of actors and processes of decision making. In order to guide our collective thinking on the challenges and opportunities facing these actors and processes, we propose to use a generic working definition of democracy that does not commit to any specific institutional format or decision rules. By leaving open the key issues of how citizens choose their representatives, what the most effective mechanisms of accountability are and how collective binding decisions are taken, this definition does not preclude the validity of what we shall later call numerical, negotiative or deliberative democracy. Modern political democracy is a regime or system of governance in which rulers are held accountable for their actions in the public realm by citizens, acting indirectly through the competition and co-operation of their representatives.
This leads to youth disaffection with politics on the grounds that rulers have to pay increasing attention to the aged (and may themselves be write increasingly aged (2) Demographic shifts, especially in their territorial impact (and when combined with compensating foreign in-migration are bringing about long. The combined effect of several economic components, involving rates of growth, levels of employment, rates of inflation and distributions of income and wealth, upon citizens perceptions of individual and collective well-being. (1) Decline in economic performance in Europe, especially relative to that of the United States, leads to a perception among citizens that their democratic institutions are serving them badly and that they should be reformed in a more American direction; (2) Decline in relative and. The rapid, unpredictable and uncontrollable diffusion of changes in technology across political borders whether by shared knowledge or commercial competition and its impact upon the way in which citizens, representatives and rulers exchange information and communicate among themselves and with each other. (1) The acceleration in technological change, especially in the information and communication technologies, reduces the absolute cost of exchanges, protects the autonomy of users, and lowers relative disparities of access among citizens, and between them, their representatives and their rulers, thereby not only increasing political. The ability of existing permanent governing institutions, especially at the national level, to carry out effectively and autonomously (in a sovereign manner) the tasks which rulers have assigned to them and which citizens expect them to fulfil. (1) In the present international/interstate context (see especially the headings globalisation, european integration, technological change, and sense of security in this listing the governing institutions of previously sovereign national states find it increasingly difficult to extract sufficient resources, to regulate behaviour and, hence, to satisfy. The shift, due to changes in working conditions, living contexts, personal mobility and family structure, in the locus of identity and collective action from large (encompassing) historically generated socio-political categories such as class, race, religion, ideology and nationality to much more fragmented and personalised conceptions. (1) Individuation at the level of interests and passions undermines the tendency of citizens to support, join and act in conjunction with more encompassing political organisations such as parties, trade unions and nationalist movements, produces a structure of intermediary associations that is more specialised.
The direct impact of European Union directives and regulations upon member, candidate and adjacent states and the indirect effect of continuous and varied interaction of politically relevant European actors, tend to produce a gradual convergence towards common norms and practices and, hence, a reduction. (1) European integration tends to undermine established national practices of democratic participation and accountability summary without replacing them with supranational practices of a corresponding nature and importance; (2) European integration through the conditionality that it imposes on candidate and member states and the legal supremacy. The voluntary and involuntary movement of persons across previously more closed and secured national borders and the permanent residence of increasing numbers of foreigners, especially of non-European origin, within European societies. (1) Migration and the co-existence of cultures previously separated from each other tends to generate a negative reaction on the part of native inhabitants of more culturally homogenous European countries. This finds its expression in xenophobic movements, ultra-nationalist political parties and racially motivated incidents that undermine the authority of established political organisations and agencies, and force existing national (and, eventually, supranational) governments to adopt policies restricting further in-migration. This has a secondary impact on the rights of national citizens and the stability of existing political competition; (2) Migration and co-habitation of foreigners have a positive impact upon the practice of democracy at several levels of aggregation since they diversify the bases of political. Change in the demographic profile of European societies in the direction of lower birth rates and higher proportions of elderly people. (1) Aged people are more likely to vote, join associations and, hence, acquire the political influence needed to appropriate an increasing share of public funds and policy benefits for themselves.
One generic issue dominates all speculation about the future of democracy namely, how well do its well-established formal institutions and informal practices fit with the much more rapidly changing social, economic, cultural and technological arrangements that surround it and upon which democracy depends both materially. Let us take an abbreviated look at the usual suspects in that surrounding context. An array of recent transformations at the macro-level that tend to cluster together, reinforce each other and produce an ever accelerating cumulative impact. All of these changes have something to do with encouraging the number and variety of exchanges between individuals and social groups across national borders by compressing their interactions in time and space, lowering their costs and overcoming previous barriers some technical, some geographical, but mostly. By all accounts, the driving forces behind globalisation are economic. However, behind the formidable power of increased market competition and technological innovation in goods and services, lies a myriad of decisions by national political authorities to tolerate, encourage and, sometimes, subsidise these exchanges, often by removing policy-related obstacles that existed previously hence, the association. The day-to-day manifestations of globalisation appear so natural and inevitable that we often forget they are the product of deliberate decisions by governments that presumably understood the consequences of what they decided to laisser passer and laisser faire. (1) Globalisation narrows the potential range of policy responses, undermines the capacity of (no longer) sovereign national states to respond autonomously to the demands of their citizenry and, thereby, weakens the legitimacy of traditional political intermediaries and state authorities; (2) Globalisation widens the resources available.
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Citizens may grumble about inattentive and unresponsive rulers, but they conform more willingly to essay what is demanded of them than in the most enlightened dictatorship or technocracy because their political rights are better protected and, therefore, they are more confident that they will. One could perhaps argue that the challenges and opportunities embedded in the present European context are exceptionally diverse and strong. Certainly, we are condemned to live in interesting times in which both the rate and the scale and the scope of change seem to be unprecedented and, most important, beyond the reach of the traditional units that have heretofore dominated its political landscape. Most of todays problems are either too small or too large for yesterdays sovereign national states and, hence, within Europe there has been a vast amount of experimentation with devolution to smaller political units and integration into larger ones. For the first time, knowing the level of aggregation at which reforms should take place has become almost as important as knowing the substance of the reforms themselves.
The classic question que faire? Has to be supplemented by où faire? Moreover, because they are coming from a relatively pacified environment, the democracies affected will find it difficult to resort to emergency measures or temporary suspensions in order to pass reform measures against strong opposition. Granted that rulers will be tempted to enhance the sense of urgency by highlighting new threats to security and responses to them (such as the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, or the fear of foreigners) and to exploit them for the purpose. The key problem will be finding the will to reform existing rules with the very rulers who have benefited by them and who usually cannot be compelled to do so by an overriding external threat to their security or tenure in office.
Whatever form it takes, the democracy of our successors will not and cannot be the democracy of our predecessors (Robert Dahl). In other words, in order to remain the same, that is to sustain its legitimacy, democracy as we know it will have to change and to change significantly pace de lampedusa and this is likely to affect all of Europes multiple levels of aggregation and. There is nothing new about this. Democracy has undergone several major transformations in the past in order to re-affirm its central principles: the sovereignty of equal citizens and the accountability of unequal rulers. It increased in scale from the city- to the nation-state; it expanded its citizenry from a narrow male oligarchy to a mass public of men and women; it enlarged its scope from defence against aggressors and the administration of justice to the whole panoply.
Our tasks in this Green Paper are to: identify the challenges and opportunities posed to contemporary european democracy by rapid and irrevocable changes in its national, regional and global contexts; specify the processes and actors in both the formal institutions and informal practices that are. Challenges and opportunities, there is nothing novel about European democracies having to face challenges and opportunities coming from major changes in their external environment. They have done this repeatedly in the past and, despite occasional reverses (the period between the first and second world wars comes immediately to mind they have been much more successful than autocracies in dealing with such threats to their existence. The reasons for this relative superiority are multiple. First, democracies generate more accurate information about the interests and passions of their citizens. They may seem to be more contentious and less efficient in the short run precisely due to their freedoms of expression, assembly and petition but they will be better equipped to cope with changes in individual preferences and intensities when they do get around. Second, democracies have internal mechanisms of accountability and responsiveness that prevent rulers from under- or over-reacting to such external threats. Despite the frequently decried danger of populism, the interests and passions of citizens once filtered through the competition and co-operation of their politicians/representatives usually result in more measured and apposite responses. They also tend over time and with occasional deviations to make collective decisions that are regarded as legitimate even by those negatively affected by them.
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Rarely, if ever, will the legs opportunity present itself for a more thorough-going, large-scale or abnormal change. After all, how much change in the rules of democracy can one expect from rulers who have themselves benefited from those rules? The usual rotation of parties and party alliances in and out of power will, at best, open up only modest opportunities for change. Fourth, we should therefore be guided by possibilism in our choices with night regard to potential reforms of formal institutions and informal practices. We will be less concerned with what may be emerging probabilistically from the various challenges and opportunities that face contemporary democracies than with what we believe is possibly within their reach provided that real-existing politicians can be convinced by real-existing citizens that the application. Last, we must also be attentive to the principle of transversality which means that we will not limit ourselves to evaluating only the possible effects of any single reform measure, but always try to the best of our collective and interdisciplinary ability to seek out. As one of our participants said during the deliberations (citing. Rhodes It is the mix that matters. Our guiding hypothesis throughout this Green Paper will be that the future of democracy in Europe lies less in fortifying and perpetuating existing formal institutions and informal practices than in changing them.
First, established democracies in Western and southern Europe will find it increasingly difficult to legitimate themselves by comparing their performance with that of some alternative mode of domination, whether real or imagined. Now that liberal democracy has become the norm throughout Europe and overt autocracy persists only in countries with markedly different cultures and social structures, the standards for evaluating what governments do (and how they do what they do) will become increasingly internal to the discourse. Therefore, there should be a tendency towards a convergence in formal institutions and informal practices within Europe that will, in turn, lead to a narrower and higher range of political standards. Second, new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and the western parts of the former soviet Union will find it increasingly difficult to legitimate themselves simply by arguing that they are so burdened by their respective autocratic heritages that they cannot possibly respect the norms. The standards that their recently liberated citizens will apply in evaluating their rulers will rapidly converge with those already resume in use in the rest of Europe. 1, polities failing to meet these standards will experience more frequent electoral turnover in power and may even be threatened by popular rebellion, unless their newly empowered rulers respect the rules established by the real-existing democracies to their West. Third, in both cases, the polities involved will usually only be able to improve the quality of their respective democratic institutions and practices by means of partial and gradual reforms. Moreover, these reforms will have to be drafted, approved and implemented according to pre-existent norms.
: the democratisation of Europes near abroad and its subsequent incorporation within the region as a whole. There is no better illustration of this than the expansion in membership of the council of Europe from twenty-one states in 1988 to forty-five states in 2003, and the enlargement of the european Union (EU) from fifteen to twenty-five in 2004. With the success of these national efforts at regime change to its East, europe has become and should remain an enlarged zone of perpetual peace in which all of its polities can expect to resolve their inevitable differences of interest peacefully through negotiation, compromise and. Moreover, there exists an elaborate europe-wide network of trans-national institutions, inter-governmental and non-governmental, to help resolve such conflicts and draw up norms to prevent their occurrence in the future. Ironically, this much more favourable regional context presents dilemmas of its own for democracy. Many (if not most) of the major historical advances in democratic institutions and practices came in conjunction with international warfare, national revolution and civil war. Fortunately, none of these Archimedean devices for leveraging large-scale change seems to be available in todays pacified Europe although rebellion again the mal governo of a corrupt, unresponsive or non-accountable democracy is still a grass-roots device very much within the potential reach of citizens. It is our presumption that democracy cannot only live with peace, but thrive with it if, however, it can learn to reform institutions and practices in a timely and concerted manner. We draw five (tentative) conclusions from this unprecedented state of affairs.
Recommendations for reform, conclusions, the authors, introduction. Democracy is the word for something that does not exist. Karl Popper, for something that does not exist, democracy has certainly been much talked about recently. Moreover at least in Europe real-existing democracy seems to have a promising future, although it is currently facing an unprecedented diversity of challenges and opportunities. The issue is not whether the national, proposal sub-national and supranational polities that compose europe will become or remain democratic, but whether the quality of this regional network of democracies will suffice to ensure the voluntary support and legitimate compliance of its citizens. For there is abundant evidence that the citizens of Europe while they may not agree on its existent practices or even know what it really is will not tolerate non-democracy. Mal governo, that is regimes that are not responsive to needs, that engage in corrupt practices, that defraud the electoral process, that restrict or manipulate basic freedoms and that refuse to be accountable to their citizens, do not have a secure future in this part.
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Green Paper : The future of Democracy in Europe. Trends, Analyses and Reforms, a green Paper for the shredder council of Europe. Co-ordinated by, philippe. Schmitter, european University Institute (Italy alexander. University of Geneva (Switzerland commissioned by the secretary general of the council of Europe. Integrated project making democratic institutions work. Council of Europe publishing, contents, introduction, part. Challenges and opportunities, part ii, processes and actors, part iii.