Democratising Democracy: No Transformation without Democratisation

For the 2020s to become a decade of transformation, they also have to become a decade of democratisation

Summary

More and more people perceive the future no longer as a promise but as a threat. Some are overwhelmed by the complexity and speed of economic transformation and social changes. Others are scared because, in their view, these developments are not happening fast enough. The critical task of democracies is to allow for control over the future without closing it and to open up the future without making it uncontrollable.

“My children will be better off than myself one day.” The strong belief in progress expressed in this statement has been holding liberal democracies together for the past decades. Today, more and more people perceive the future no longer as a promise but as a threat. They feel a sense of powerlessness in the face of climate change, cultural backlashes, and economic transformation. The Innocracy 2021 conference paper outlines where liberal democracies have lost the balance between openness and order and how this balance can be reinstalled.

About Innocracy

Innocracy is a European civil-society conference based in Berlin. Since 2017, once a year, Innocracy explores innovations in democracies. From reflections on the status quo, via practical examples of change to painting tangible future visions, the conference seeks to improve liberal democracy from the inside out. Innocracy is known for its community character, innovative formats and future-oriented debates.

In 2020, a digital version of Innocracy focused on future visions of more just democracies and their strategic value for societies in transformation. Under the title “Bringing the Future Back to Democracy”, more than 30 partner organisations, 60 speakers and 1000 participants experienced three days of keynotes, toolbox classes, vision sprints and panel discussions.

We believe, for the 2020s to become a decade of transformation, they have to become a decade of democratisation, too. At Innocracy 2021, we wanted to identify fields which are excluded or are being removed from democratic control and explore whether and how (re-)democratising them could lead to a better future.

Authors

Paulina Fröhlich

Head of Resilient Democracy
Paulina Fröhlich leads our Resilient Democracy team. She directs innovative dialogue projects, such as "Europa Hört", designs and curates Innocracy, a conference on democratic transformation, and co-authors discussion papers, such as "Glotzt nicht so romantisch" and the study "Die Talkshow-Gesellschaft".
The Disregarded
A study on the importance of regional perspectives for the great transformation
The Strategic Value of Visions: Lessons from Innocracy 2020 and outlook on this year’s conference
We need visions of the future that unify and integrate democracies on their way forward
Democracy Lab Final Report
Transformation instead of innovation

Paul Jürgensen

Policy Advisor
As a policy advisor, Paul Jürgensen oversees projects on representation and participation, democratic innovations and visions, and dealing with right-wing populism and extremism. Prior to this position he completed the trainee program at Das Progressive Zentrum. He is co-author of the book "Schleichend an die Macht" (Dietz Verlag, 2020) and the study "Brücken bauen für die Demokratie" (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2020).
The Majority is Convinced: New German Administration is Future-Oriented
SPD, Greens and FDP have stepped up as a Future-Oriented coalition
The Strategic Value of Visions: Lessons from Innocracy 2020 and outlook on this year’s conference
We need visions of the future that unify and integrate democracies on their way forward
“Creeping into Power” analyses historical interpretations of the New Right
The book is edited by Policy Fellow Andreas Audretsch and historian Claudia Gatzka
Conference Study: Trying Times – Rethinking Social Cohesion
The study provides a set of focus questions that are designed to promote public debate on how to shape cohesion as we move forward

Maxine Fowé

Junior Project Manager
About Maxine Maxine Fowé, born in Hamburg in 1997, is a junior project manager in the Future of Democracy department at Das Progressive Zentrum. She studied philosophy, politics and economics in Maastricht, London and Berlin. Her research focus is located…

Content

Summary
Authors

Paulina Fröhlich

Head of Resilient Democracy

Paul Jürgensen

Policy Advisor

Maxine Fowé

Junior Project Manager

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