Direct Democracy: Participation without Populism?

June 24, 2019

6pm Chatham House – London

To watch the video from the event please click below.

In recent years, the rise of populism in the West, China’s growing influence in global governance and Russia’s alleged interference in foreign elections have prompted a deep rethink of how democratic systems work – and how they don’t work. Increasingly, liberal democracies are accused of failing to address the dislocations of globalization and the role of technology in amplifying tribalism thus polarizing societies and paralyzing governments.

Against this backdrop, the panellists will consider whether and how democratic systems can be rethought and rejuvenated in the 21st century. What new ideas, partnerships and frameworks of governance have the potential to renew existing institutions of democracy? Can social networks and digitization be used to deepen political engagement and empower direct participation without fuelling populism? And is it possible to reconcile the power of direct participation with the values of deliberation, pluralism and compromise?