Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe is in a particularly vulnerable moment as it faces a wave of populism, polarisation, and growing public disengagement against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. Citizens’ Assemblies give people agency, strengthen quality information ecosystems, and overcome polarisation by bridging divides. In doing so, they can help strengthen people’s resilience to authoritarianism and populism.
As the U.S. grapples with division and discord–and the 2024 elections loom–this old idea points to new ways of solving hard problems
Claudia Chwalisz talks about deliberation, new democratic models, and commitment as a form of participation. More
What is the role of political leadership in a new democratic paradigm defined by citizen participation, representation by lot and deliberation? What is or should be the role and relationship of politicians and political parties with citizens? What does a new approach to activating citizenship (in its broad sense) through practice and education entail? These are some questions that I am grappling with, having worked on democratic innovation and citizens’ assemblies for over a decade, with my views evolving greatly over time.
The shortcomings of current democratic governance have even fuelled a sense of pride in so-called illiberal democracies. But what if a more collaborative model, truly respecting rule by the people, were achievable? Claudia Chwalisz, founder and CEO of DemocracyNext, joined us on Perspective to delve into this further.
What could our democracy feel like if we represented ourselves directly instead of or in addition to electing a representative?
In this episode, host Hilary Sutcliffe explores . . . democracy from another angle. For most people, democracy means elections, then governing, and then four years later, you do it again. Claudia Chwalisz, founder and CEO of DemocracyNext, has different ideas. Her vision is for a democracy that is a lot more “democratic,” where you as a citizen have a real say in how your country is run, and might even do away with elections and politicians altogether.
Citizens’ Assemblies have potential in creating an antidote to authoritarianism in Central and Eastern Europe.
Citizens’ assemblies can help us better address societal challenges, overcome polarization and strengthen trust.