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Alternatives to NeoliberalismTowards Equality and Democracy$
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Bryn Jones and Mike O'Donnell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447331148

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447331148.001.0001

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The democratic deficit: institutional democracy

The democratic deficit: institutional democracy

Chapter:
(p.79) Four The democratic deficit: institutional democracy
Source:
Alternatives to Neoliberalism
Author(s):

Mike O’Donnell

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447331148.003.0005

The central argument of this chapter is that to achieve the various radical and progressive goals O’Donnell and the book’s other contributors propose, will require a further extension and institutionalisation of democratic participation. A historical overview establishes democratic participation as inherent to the radical trilogy of liberty, equality and solidarity. This chapter proposes a fourth element in the development of democracy in addition to the legal, political and social democratic rights outlined by Thomas Marshall. The term used to describe this is institutional democracy which is defined as the maximum practical involvement of people, including in decision making and reward distribution, in the institutions that affect their lives. Direct democracy is the ‘ideal’ form of institutional democracy but the term also applies to a much more extensive deepening of democracy from, for example, establishing school councils at the micro level to reforming and renaming the House of Lords at the macro level. Institutional democracy therefore builds on the concept and practice of participatory democracy but is wider in scope and demands secure and generally legal, implementation.

Keywords:   equality, institutional democracy, liberty, rights, social democracy, solidarity, Thomas Marshall

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