The Democratic Multiverse: Governance, Associations and the Prospects for Progressive Democratic Renewal

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In this chapter I show that Governance-Driven Democratization and Democracy-Driven Governance encounter almost insurmountable challenges in advancing progressive democratic reform. To fully appreciate the size and nature of these challenges, we need to put them in a larger perspective that includes the (neo-liberal) political economy. This chapter lays the groundwork for a broader theory of progressive democratic reform. I describe how democracy is suspended within a triangle of distinct operational orders formed by civil society, the state and the corporate-financial sphere. Within this triangle democracy needs to persuade the three spheres to accept it practices, rules and values. I show that in the last half century the economic sphere has gradually insinuated itself into the other two spheres to the point that the whole triangle forms a dense hegemonic complex, insulating itself against democratic influence. However, democratic innovation occurs within a participatory ecology that, in addition to GDD and DDG encompasses associations (commons) and progressive public administration. Taken together these alternatives form a repertoire of, admittedly piecemeal, progressive reform in the democratic multiverse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReclaiming Participatory Governance
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Movements and the Reinvention of Democratic Innovation
EditorsAdrian Bua, Sonia Bussu
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781003218517
ISBN (Print)9781032111216
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2023


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