International Observatory on Participatory Democracy

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Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy

Political Culture, from local participation to global coexistence

Active citizens and participatory governments are fundamental features of every modern democracy. When it comes to addressing major global challenges — from education to welfare, migration to climate change — social movements and local governments serve as the practical rescue teams for fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the concept of people power: transparency, accountability, delegation and participation.

Modern Direct Democracy, our common issue of interest, activity, research and concern, has without doubt entered the world’s center stage. Never before in history has a single popular vote created such waves of debates around the options and limits of the initiative and referendum process as the United Kingdom’s June 23 popular vote to leave the European Union. While rightly described as a top-down plebiscite, #Brexit also has offered many lessons on how to design a public deliberation ahead of such a historic public decision.