Book Review: Sarah Kendzior, ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’
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Kendzior pulls no punches... detailed ... a true crime work, with the President ... benefactor of a criminal machine so powerful and immense ... every institution ... and media has, in some way, been compromised...every page brought fresh anguish...Other than Trump... the players? Russians... Israel, and Americans in business and government... all…

3 Versions of Europe Are Collapsing at the Same Time – Foreign Policy
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Europe has repeatedly failed ... those failures have been the building blocks of Europe’s success. But ... Today’s noise isn’t simply another invitation for Europe to fail upward again. It’s the sound of Europe threatening to fall apart entirely...Postwar Europe is failing today because, for the younger generations, World War II is ancient history…

The European Union’s Double Crisis of Legitimacy - The Atlantic
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The union faces a double crisis of legitimacy... it is hard to sustain the fiction that ordinary citizens have a meaningful say over what happens in Brussels... If many voters don’t believe that they have much sway over what happens in their national capitals, the feeling of impotence is even more profound when it comes to Brussels.... the EU ... …

A ‘Conference on the future of EU’, what next? EU elections 2024 –
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‘Conference on the Future of Europe’ will open this spring... will not be enough... also... a real democratic debate on the final text, so that it can be followed up... if there is to be a reform of the Treaties... to be ratified in all Member States...Referenda are ... not suitable for the ratification of a new treaty... not allow a debate on its…

Policy Brief: Future of Democracy (pdf)
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to make participatory democracy a reality, it is essential to avoid only paying lip-service to the idea of participation — and give citizens a real say...European federalists are hoping to gain momentum for treaty change. Many member states are afraid of that very outcome...Citizens’ participation is being tested out far more commonly across Europ…

DECiDe Feldtest European Alternatives | HIIG
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Europeans feel disenfranchised ... alternative forms of active citizen engagement in democracy must be experimented with... Our approach combines ... random sample voting (RSV) with secure digital identities... if anyone in Europe, from the European parliament to a local government or NGO, wants to find out how people in a certain region feel abou…

Improving Constituent Engagement – POPVOX
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a system that could bring some structure to the legislative advocacy ecosystem — listing all bills online; organizations and constituents would create accounts and post input in a structured, transparent way with outward anonymity but real names and addresses sent with messages to lawmakers in a way that could be easily processed by offices... th…

Does it make sense to refer to EU officials as “unelected bureaucrats”? - The Economist explains
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Every government has bureaucrats, who are by nature unelected. The EU, with about 33,000 civil servants, is dwarfed by the British ... 400,000. ... many senior ones are appointed rather than elected; yet this, too, is true of all governments.... the 28 commissioners ... are nominated by member countries and approved by the European Parliament, whi…

How can the EU support its superheroes?
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“So I and fellow Australian-in-Brussels Richard Medic decided to ask some friends to help answer a couple of questions: How can the EU support its superheroes, without destroying their credibility in the process? And under what conditions should it even try?”

Some thoughts on the crisis of liberalism—and how to fix it - Liberalism
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The most powerful engine of elitism is the European Union... Founding Fathers of Europe deliberately removed a great deal of decision-making from the hands of the (nation-bounded and short-sighted) public... Confronted with popular revolts against the rule of experts they have simply dug in their heels... For the EU, technocratic decision-making …

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower
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Wylie ... the gay Canadian vegan who somehow ended up creating “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindfuck tool”.... In 2014 Steve Bannon ... was Wylie’s boss. And Robert Mercer... Republican donor, was Cambridge Analytica’s investor... to bring big data and social media to an established military methodology – “information operations” – then t…

Crowdfunding and Civic Society in Europe: A Profitable Partnership?

CFPs also have the capacity to help foster and strengthen non-parliamentary democratic structures and practices. As such, they should be supported and encouraged as part of a framework of further European democratization and civic integration.

‘Does it improve democratic quality?’

give ourselves the following assignment: Government engagement must contribute to the quality of democracy.... provides a solid foundation for the design and execution of ... communication and participation forms and processes... an angle to critically review ... collaboration formats and tools. Participation is not an end in itself; reinforcing …

The sixth scenario and Juncker’s white paper
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6th Scenario – More EuropeanismDemocracy needs an identity foundation that binds individuals into the demos... Europe does not have that. The proof?... There are no successful pro-European populists!The local and particular cannot be based on the general and universal.... There has to be something more ...

I Studied the Alt-Right So You Don’t Have To – Form and Resonance – Medium
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The “inclusiveness” of Kekistan and groups like Patriot Prayer... lures people who might not have been traditionally part of the GOP ... into the welcoming bosom of far-right causes. ... mainstreaming the more extreme versions of white nationalism and overt racism by making them appear more friendly and just about “free speech”... the “free speech…

Disentangling Democracy From Geography - The Atlantic
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rather than asking “Is the internet good for democracy?”... explore whether the human characteristics ... amplified or diminished by the internet support a functioning democratic system... The internet... collapses geography, greatly amplifies people’s ability to make connections ... However, the American democratic system is structured in a wa…

The Storytellers of Democracy - The Atlantic
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Interactive and participatory media allows viewers to get involved, to become expressive, and give voice. It is inviting and contagious for those who share views—seeing enough notes and posters in public makes it more welcoming to add your own... civic action... moves from digital support to public support only when it is clear that such actions h…

A solution to the single-question crowd wisdom problem
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Here we propose the following alternative to a democratic vote: select the answer that is more popular than people predict. We show that this principle yields the best answer under reasonable assumptions about voter behaviour, while the standard ‘most popular’ or ‘most confident’ principles fail under exactly those same assumptions. Like tradition…

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search | Technology | The Guardian
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There’s large-scale, statistically significant research into the impact of search results on political views... Google is doing a horrible, horrible job of delivering answers here. It can and should do better... people are finally saying, ‘Gee, Facebook and Google really have a lot of power’ like it’s this big revelation. And it’s like, ‘D’oh.’”…

How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red’
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democracies are not as secure as people may think... since 2005, Freedom House’s index has shown a decline in global freedom each year... signs of democratic deconsolidation in the United States and many other liberal democracies are now similar to those in Venezuela before its crisis.

The Case Against Democracy
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Democracy is other people, and the ignorance of the many has long galled the... the few who consider themselves intellectuals... Still, democracy is far from perfect... if we value its power to make good decisions, why not try a system that’s a little less fair but makes good decisions even more often? ... Estlund coined the word “epistocracy,” m…

Leonard Cohen on Democracy and Its Redemptions
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Nowhere is this interplay of darkness and light more nuanced, nor more prescient, than in Cohen’s song “Democracy.”After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Western world was ablaze with the euphoria of a blind faith that democracy was coming to the East. I was there — that’s not what happened.

We the People: the charms and contradictions of populism
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Two convergent trends are making populism a potent negative force. First, democracies have morphed into unrepresentative plutocracies that lead growing numbers of people to feel shut out and voiceless... Media ... business model is now based on social media and clicks, not facts. Clicks depend on theatrical performance, stunts, celebrity, ent…

Facebook is harming our democracy, and Mark Zuckerberg needs to do something about it - Vox
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Facebook makes billions of editorial decisions every day. And often they are bad editorial decisions — steering people to sensational, one-sided, or just plain inaccurate stories. The fact that these decisions are being made by algorithms rather than human editors doesn’t make Facebook any less responsible for the harmful effect on its users and t…

Text vs. World Trumps – Medium
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Decline of text in favour of videos means more Trumps and Berlusconis around the world... the internet which was the last word-centred public space after the decline of print journalism, is capitulating to the television format... public opinion in the age of television is more a set of “emotions rather than opinions, which would account for the …

When Media Companies Insist They're Not Media Companies and Why It Matters for Communications Policy by Philip M. Napoli, Robyn Caplan :: SSRN

This paper will explore and critique the logic and motivations behind the position that these content providers/aggregators are technology companies rather than media companies, as well as the communications policy implications associated with accepting or rejecting this position... The final section discusses why it is important that these online…

Give the audience what they want or what they need?
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Should we give the audience what they want?ORShould we give the audience what they need?...two flawed assumptions: 1. that newsrooms already know what audiences want and 2. that newsrooms can and should determine what their audience needs. The framing of these questions doesn’t leave room for members of the audience to actually speak for themselve…

Liquid Democracy: True Democracy for the 21st Century
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Voters can either vote directly on issues, or they can delegate their voting power to delegates (i.e. representatives) who vote on their behalf. Delegation can be domain specific, which means that voters can delegate their voting power to different experts in different domains... If trust is broken ... the voter can simply revoke the delegation .…

Should we worry about filter bubbles?
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we provide an overview of concerns that have dominated the public information policy discourse, and review the main insights from empirical research We conclude ... there is no empirical evidence that warrants any strong worries about filter bubbles. Nevertheless, the debate about filter bubbles is important. Personalisation on news sites is stil…

Science is not a democracy
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When it comes to a wide variety of issues ... many of us have opinions that are based on fear or ideology, rather than on what the science says... we even vote (or ask our representatives to vote) on not just policy but on the science ... voting on science is completely antithetical to the entire enterprise ... debate in science isn’t about achiev…

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