THERE IS A need for a fundamental revision of the way we think about democracy in our times.
An epochal transformation has been taking place in the contours and dynamics of representative democracy. From roughly the mid-twentieth century representative democracy began to morph into a new historical form of ‘post-representative’ democracy. The fundamental implications of this change for democracy in the coming years need to be explored. The ‘end of history’ perspectives and maritime metaphors are too limited to grasp the epochal change – too bound to the surface of things, too
preoccupied with continuities and aggregate data to notice that political tides have begun to run in entirely
My claim is that our world is now living through an historic sea change, one that is taking us away from the old world of representative democracy towards a form of democracy with entirely different contours and dynamics. In media-saturated societies which bristle with communicative abundance – questions about the causes and causers of this new historical form of democracy, its advantages and disadvantages, have fundamental implications for media and politics, and profound implications for how we think about and practise democracy and journalism in the coming decades.
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