Open Democracy and Democratic Imaginaries
Hélène Landemore with Vafa Ghazavi
In this conversation, leading political theorist Hélène Landemore will discuss the crisis of democracy, the challenge of authoritarian and meritocratic regimes like China or Singapore, the need to reform the dated political institutions of so-called representative democracy, and Landemore’s new model of an “open democracy” centered around randomly selected legislative bodies. What would an authentic democracy, in which power is open to all equally, look like? Are ordinary citizens really capable of making the law? Can there be representation, legitimacy, or even accountability without elections? She will also discuss concrete examples—primarily in Iceland and France—of democratic innovations pointing towards visions of more fully realized democracies.
Hélène Landemore is Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University. Her first book in English Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many provided a knowledge-based (or “epistemic”) justification of democracy’s value. With the forthcoming publication of Open Democracy: Reinventing Popular Rule for the Twenty-First Century in October, she is half-way through a tetralogy on democracy. In this book she defends a new institutional translation of the idea of democracy, in which power is equally accessible to all citizens. Future projects include a volume on democratic foundations and democracy at work. helenelandemore.com / @landemore
Vafa Ghazavi is a DPhil candidate and John Monash Scholar at Balliol College and Lecturer in Politics at Pembroke College, University of Oxford. His research interests include theories of justice, moral agency, and the nature of moral progress. @GhazaviVD