Articles on Democracy Futures

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Italians voted “No” by a convincing margin in the referendum on constitutional change.

What’s next for Italy?

In a climate of widespread discontent with Italy's political establishment, a new election might wipe out most of the parties in the current government coalition.
Yes or no? Italian voters decide on December 4.

Will Italy’s referendum trigger the next crisis?

To understand whether the referendum will plunge Italy into a crisis, we need to unpack the problem in its three essential components: the reform; the Renzi's factor; and the country’s economy.
Global media systems cannot effectively contribute to social progress until opportunities are more widely shared. Internet.org by Facebook/Facebook

Why the media is a key dimension of global inequality

Global media systems cannot effectively contribute to social progress until opportunities not just for access, but also for active participation, are more widely shared.
A portrait of US President-elect Donald Trump guards a residential backyard in Iowa, complete with lights and security cameras. Tony Webster/flickr

Trump, the unspeakable and democracy in America

The better-to-do and the established of civil and political society have become complacent and deaf to 'those at the bottom'. The working class has gone over to the right-wing populists.
A disempowering judgment by the Special Court for Sierra Leone should not blind us to how local activists still made use of its symbolic power. Steve Evans/flickr

Creativity and resilience: how do war survivors make international justice work for them?

How are we to understand why people in different parts of the world continue to demand and participate in transitional justice institutions and processes in spite of the shortcomings?
Donald Trump in New Mexico. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Populism and democracy: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

Donald Trump is the latest example of populism's return to the global political landscape. Nine scholars from seven countries examine the link between populism and democracy.
Donald Trump is often described as a populist leader. Reuters/Carlo Allegri

We the People: the charms and contradictions of populism

In this special The Conversation project, scholars and commentators from around the world examine the rise of populism, and its implications, now and into the future.
Protestants hold a Sunday service in the open air in Jakarta. Their efforts to erect their own church buildings have been blocked by hardline Muslim groups. Cherian George

The curious power of hate propaganda in open societies

Truth’s victory over hate propaganda is neither automatic nor preordained. It requires a commitment to equal rights and norms of tolerance.
What do you call a democracy that depends on the exclusion of whole groups from political participation? Gaia/Wikipedia Commons

What’s in a name? How a democracy becomes an aristocracy

Democracy today contains within itself impulses towards both inclusion and exclusion. Spinoza's thinking on aristocracy should alert us to how democratic rule by the people can be hollowed out.
Shifts in our communication infrastructures have reshaped the very possibilities of social order driven by markets and commercial exploitation. Marc Smith/flickr

The price of connection: ‘surveillance capitalism’

Capitalism has become focused on expanding the proportion of social life that is open to data collection and processing – as if the social itself has become the new target of capitalism’s expansion.

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