Helping parliaments get closer to the people they represent

By Andy Williamson A key challenge for those trying to engage a broader public in parliamentary democracy is that the processes often appear closed and opaque (because, often, they are). The language is off-putting, the procedures cumbersome and unfriendly, and it’s hard to see what’s going on. It can be hard to see any value […]

How do we take back control?

  Digital democracy & democratic deficit in the EU The Democratic Society are working on a project to find out how people would like to communicate ideas directly to the institutions of the European Union. It’s about citizens feeding in to policy-making and having a say more than just once every five years in the European […]

Turning the tide on democracy?

By Millicent Scott This October, the Athens Democracy Forum will bring together actors from across the world to examine the current threats to democracy from the refugee crisis subsuming Europe, Africa and the Middle East and the rise of terrorist attacks which challenge the core ideals of democracy, to the rise of populism and the […]

How can online consultations be improved?

The Democratic Society and Snook are really excited to have been commissioned by the Government Digital Service to carry out a short piece of work exploring how the experience of online consultations, as run by Whitehall, can be improved. We will be writing a number of blog posts over the course of the project to share […]

Reforming the House of Lords (again) and the number of Peers

David Morris MP (Conservative) recently moved a motion in Westminster Hall on ‘Reforming the House of Lords and the number of peers’. Morris spoke of a need to reduce the current number of peers and proposed a ‘better way’ to slim down whole of the Lords to 250 members. He emphasised that “this debate is […]

Limiting Freedom of Information could strike at the heart of a democratic United Kingdom

The free flow of information and ideas lies at the heart of the very notion of democracy and is crucial to effective respect for human rights. – UNESCO In the House of Commons last week, Justice Secretary Michael Gove said that he believes we need to “revisit” the Freedom of Information Act, adding to renewed speculation […]

Scotland’s participation ‘spring’; what are the Scottish Government doing?

Scotland is in the midst of a ‘participation spring’; a unique and enviable position for a government and politicians to have such engaged and involved citizens. But there is a risk that this could all go to waste if the Scottish Government doesn’t seize this opportunity to engage and involve the public in meaningful participation. […]

Help us compile a Democracy reading list

We love discovering new books to read here at Demsoc, and we especially love to discover new books about anything relevant to democracy. We asked internally for suggestions of some good books – suitable for beginners – that contain discussion about democracy and directly related topics. Below are five of our suggestions. What do you think […]

The Case for Electoral Reform – Stronger Than Ever

The 2015 general election was a triumph for the Conservatives. Before the exit polls on 7th May no one foresaw a Tory majority. So how did it happen? In the weeks since the election there has been much speculation: Did Ed Miliband fail as a leader? Did Tory spending buy the vote? Should UKIP and […]