New Social and Political Movements and the Democratic Ideals
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In response to the political and economic crises, new political and social movements appearing in mature liberal democratic countries (such as United States, Italy or Spain) call for “real democracy” and create strategies for more participatory politics. Groups of academics together with the third sector activists around the world elaborate, test and introduce new forms of participatory mechanisms which allow bottom-up, direct deci-sion-making. Recent massive social movements try to change the dominant, but clearly obsolete model of democracy based on elite groups of political representatives by pro-moting a new paradigm of inclusive citizen-centered politics. What are the ideological and philosophical bases for political activity of these movements and how their demo-cratic ideals translate into political practice? What does it mean “real democracy”? Why direct participation of citizens in decision-making is so important for the new move-ments? How technological tools can be used to support participatory processes and democratization of public governance at different levels? How should the new democra-tic model of doing politics look like? These are several questions on which the paper will try to answer.
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