2016

Economics is for Everyone! | Provocation by Graham Smith

The economy is an area of decision-making fiercely protected by experts and politicians from public participation. But public confidence in this closed policy community is waning and arguments for democratic participation in an area that so profoundly shapes all our lives are growing. Against this backdrop, the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) has launched an...

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The EU Referendum and the UK’s Environment: What are the implications for democracy?

Charlotte Burns and Viviane Gravey argue that the EU Referendum debate in the UK has been "surprisingly quiet on the issue of the environment". They look at three options for the UK from the point of view of their impacts on participatory democracy, as well as point to the tension between participation and stable long term rules for environmental protection. They believe that the terms of the current debate are far too narrow. "National sovereignty is essentially a red herring that offers little in the way of genuine democratisation of environmental (or any other) policy area."

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Sustaining democracy in disaster: The seeds of recovery

Bronwyn Hayward argues that despite the New Zealand Government's attempts to reduce democracy after the 2010-2012 earthquakes, by suspending the Constitution and excluding local voices in decision-making, innovative citizen actions showed alternative, more imaginative and democratic responses to disaster recovery. One example is the Student Volunteer 'Army' who cleared mud and silt, and organised through Facebook.

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Thinking systemically about deliberative democracy and climate change

This report suggests that deliberative democracy is a collaborative and effective way to develop the concerted, ambitious and creative action needed to respond to climate change. Drawing on the work of Alberta Climate Dialogue (ABCD) in organizing mini-publics, it argues, however, that in order to achieve these aims, deliberative approaches need to adopt the tools...

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Climate change action needs more than scientific evidence

  Simon Burall argues that in relation to climate change, “the public debate is almost exclusively framed in scientific terms”. In order to “take the comprehensive action needed” government needs to recognise other forms of evidence and give them equal weight, particularly since technical arguments from science and economics cannot resolve complex trade-offs between communities;...

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