Enacting democracy

Saward, Michael (2003). Enacting democracy. Political Studies, 51(1) pp. 161–179.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9248.00418


We do not need more 'models of democracy', but we do need a fresh view of democratic theory to take full advantage of deliberative, ecological, cosmopolitan and other innovations of recent years. Approaches such as these can be understood in terms of the devices they deploy - deliberative forums and cross-border referendums, for example, as well as more familiar elections and legislatures. Devices enact democratic principles; indeed, it is argued that principles gain their meaning and force through enactment. Devices can also be reordered in different ways; democrats can construct sequences which enact democracy in particular, desired ways. Pursuing this argument involves adopting a reflexive and procedural perspective, which puts a premium on democracy as sensitive to context, open-ended, productive and adaptable.

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