Conclusion: The Future of Democratic Governance

  • Benjamin Isakhan
  • Steven Slaughter


This volume has examined how contemporary crises have exposed the tensions between governance and democracy. However, despite the many problems with governance and its problematic relationship with democracy, none of the chapters in this volume advocate the complete removal of governance from modern democracies. In fact, in very different ways, each of the chapters has demonstrated that democracy needs governance in order to manage the complexity of contemporary life. This is even more important during times of crisis — a period in which there is a profound disruption to the existing political, social and economic systems. The key challenge is to consider the ways in which governance can be democratised and used to avert, manage and resolve such crises. This volume does not present one ultimate model of democratic governance, and neither do the contributors argue that democratising governance would be the panacea that resolved each of the crises facing democracy today. However, the contributors do contend that crises open up political spaces and present unique opportunities to apply fresh thinking and innovative action to the nature and scope of governance. Crises demonstrate the willingness of publics, activists, political leaders and scholars to challenge existing systems of governance and thereby develop and promote alternative forms of democracy.


Global Financial Crisis Civil Society Organisation Global Governance Deliberative Democracy Representative Democracy 
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© Benjamin Isakhan and Steven Slaughter 2014

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  • Benjamin Isakhan
  • Steven Slaughter

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