Oliver Escobar was raised in a country governed by a dictatorship. Now he is making a life work in democratic research, teaching, and advocacy. He says many or most of our democracies are very underdeveloped. They focus on just a few practices, elections and party politics, which are important but very limited aspects of democratic life. That underdevelopment may have played a role in bringing about what is now a time of great upheaval. That upheaval might in turn serve up an opportunity for renewal.

Peter Pula

Twelve ways to deepen democracy where we live and work
Peter Pula's picture

The time to move well beyond representative democracy as the way we 'do democracy' is well upon us. Representative democracy has been found wanting. It has become the bastion of professional politicians, and the limits of its usefulness to the every day citizen are increasingly apparent. A strong argument can be made that worse than not being particularly useful, it has ensconced us in a system in which the political and state apparatus, in its habitual pattern, actually interferes with citizenry in a detrimental way. That does not mean that it must be abandoned, but it must be transcended. We must do better. And that means proliferating democracy into spaces where we as citizens can experience both agency and efficacy. 

Peter Pula

What’s next for all of us is at the intersection between big and small, system and life world, institution and citizen
Peter Pula's picture

We are in a global storm of shifting sands. Big, having the uses it does, has reached the limits of its usefulness. Doing more and more of Big isn’t going to get us any more significant results than it already has.

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