“Awakening democracy” to face ecological and social crises


Book. This is a timely book to feed the essential debate on the future of our democracy. How can we give our political system the impetus it needs to respond to the crisis of mistrust that is undermining it, election after election? How can it be strengthened in order to face together the ecological and social crises which call for profound changes?

The Rousseau Institute and the Observatory of Public Ethics, two think tanks which work, each in their own field, on political practices, asked 70 researchers and actors in the field with a rather left-wing sensibility - including Gaël Giraud , Dominique Méda or Maxime de Rostolan – what would each of them be their “great idea” to “wake up democracy”. Reform of institutions, transparency and ethics, regulation of social networks, education… The book offers a rich range of leads that reflect a welcome democratic effervescence.

The first part focuses on the desire to reform representative democracy. There are fairly classic proposals for rebalancing powers – inversion of the electoral calendar, proportional voting, revaluation of the role and means of parliamentarians… – and ideas that are much less so, such as the majority ballot, tested during the popular Primary , or the election of a government team rather than that of a President of the Republic. The focus is on transparency, a subject on which "much remains to be done", considers the former deputy René Dosière. Law professor Elina Lemaire calls for rethinking the appointment of members of the Constitutional Council; the economist Laurence Scialom wants to put an end to the porosity between public administration and private consulting agencies.

Engage the debate

At the time of citizens' conventions, the articulation of participatory and deliberative mechanisms with representative democracy remains to be considered. To prevent the former from being perceived as a "instrumentalized simulacrum", political scientist Rémi Lefebvre calls for a "great law" providing for procedural guarantees and a national fund for participation, for greater autonomy with regard to public authorities.

Because democracy can be learned from an early age, a section is devoted to education, whether it is to citizenship, to the city, or to the living. The interest of the book is also that it gives a large place to economic, environmental or digital democracy, around proposals that put the citizen back at the heart of decisions.

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