European Political Science

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 603–616 | Cite as

For participatory democracy: some notes

  • Donatella della PortaEmail author


The Great Recession that hit the world in 2008 functioned as a critical juncture, nurturing socioeconomic but also political transformations. Some of the political developments during the crisis have challenged civil, political and social rights, triggering a Great Regression. In the geographical areas that have been hardest hit by the financial crisis, particularly in the European periphery, waves of protest have, however, challenged the austerity policies adopted by national governments under heavy pressure from lending institutions including the European Central Bank, the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund. This has put democracy under stress, but also triggered at some capacity for innovation. While some have considered the multiple crises as proof that governments need more technical expertise, others have blamed an “econocracy” that has taken over political decisions while pretending they are not political. Siding with this second vision, I will suggest in these notes that what we need is more, rather than less participation in democracy. I develop my argument by summarising some recent reflections in the social sciences on the challenges that the financial crisis poses to democracy, and the ways to address those challenges.


Deliberate democracy Democracy Participatory democracy 


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Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scuola Normale SuperioreFlorenceItaly

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