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Democratic Papers reinventing democracy
Bruxelles, British Council, Rue du Trone 128, 27 May 2004
The Democratic Papers contains rich, challenging and exciting analyses of the future of governance in Europe and beyond. Twenty-three contributors from twelve countries take a penetrating look at real issues that matter to real people all over the world, aiming to help shape new debates about what democracy can and should mean, and how we can meet its demands. We want you to respond to these views - we look forward to hearing from Europeans, Middle Easterners, Americans, Africans, Asians and others about your visions of democracy. The Democratic Papers is your conversation.

Democracy has always meant different things to different people. It is a question of culture and of politics, of feelings and processes as well as institutions. While its banner is carried into action around the world, for many its sense is fogged or devalued. Nor can democratic innovation be neglected at home if the bonds are not to fail between us and our leaders, our institutions, and even our neighbours.

The Project so far

Over the last two years, we have brought together a unique group of people through new media, seminars and debates. The process has involved almost seventy people from seventeen countries: political leaders and advisers, researchers in think-tanks and academia, business professionals, journalists, social entrepreneurs and activists. Pooling unconventional and inspirational vantage-points, we agreed to explore democracy’s ‘blue skies’ together. The discussions have ranged from global governance to the civic culture of cities, from the dynamics of migration to the future of political parties. The Democratic Papers is the result - demanding what the wider future holds for democracy, both after the Constitution and beyond Europe’s shores.

Why now?

The Democratic Papers is conceived in the spirit of the pamphleteering age of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries – an age of ferment, invention, revolution and counter-revolution, when governance and civil society were evolving and empires were brewing. We live in a similar interregnum, our foe untamed systemic complexity. We wanted to re-ignite peoples' engagement with democracy - wherever they are from, and whatever their background.

Our Partners

The Democratic Papers is the outcome of a project in partnership between Vision, The British Council Bruxelles, Demos, and

Contents - Read The Democratic Papers and then have your say

Ray Thomas and Sharon Memis

Introducing The Democratic Papers
Paul Hilder, Editor

Part 1: Revitalising Europe
Crossroads and Roundabout: Where now for Europe?
Reinhard Hesse

We, the Peoples of Europe
Kalypso Nicolaidis

Toward a new European Commonwealth
Theo Veenkamp, Tom Bentley and Alessandra Buonfino

Part 2: Wider Democracy
Democracy and Enlargement
Jan Zielonka

Turkey: Sailling to Democracy?
Tunc Aybak and Ayse Kolat

Travails of the European Raj
Gerald Knaus and Felix Martin

Democracy and the Middle East
Paul Hilder

How to Reform Global Governance?
Francesco Grillo, Simona Milio and Claire O'Brien

Part 3: People and Parties
Demos and Democracy
Daniele Archibugi

Political Parties: Crisis or Mutation?
Florence Faucher

Possibilities for European Parties, 2004 and Beyond
Simon Hix

Mind the Gap: Direct Democracy in Europe
Bruno Kaufmann

The Party of the Future - A Manifesto
Koert Debeuf, Tibor Dessewffy and Paul Hilder

Part 4: European Leadership
"Just Do It" - Franco-German Leadership in Europe
Sylvie Goulard

Leading Between
Paul Skidmore

Systematic Leadership for a Larger Union
Giovanni Grevi

To the Leaders of Europe
from citizens gathered in Thessaloniki Forum

Tom Bentley