The renewal of democracy: deliberative democracy at the French and European territorial levels
Representative democracy is in crisis. It was born at a time when the people, the majority of whom were illiterate, needed literate spokespersons to represent them and when information circulated slowly, mainly in written form. It was the only practicable form of democracy in large human groups. This context has changed completely, as democracy must do: new forms of involving citizens in deliberation and decision-making must be invented. One of the most promising advances is deliberative democracy, in which panels of citizens drawn at random construct the terms of the debate and propose answers to be submitted to all citizens.
The territorial level is logically the basic level. It allows for dialogue between citizens who live the same reality on all the major issues of our societies and not only on local issues. From this first level, a dialogue can be established between territories at both national and European level. Such a deliberative multi-level democracy requires, in order to be effective, recognition at national and European levels.