The Joy of Politics

Why do so many people dislike politics, especially young people? Could it be because we misunderstand what politics actually is? David Wisner thinks so. Defining politics in clear, practical terms, and explaining fundamental structures and contemporary innovations, notably in the field of information technology, Wisner demonstrates that it is possible to speak meaningfully about politics … More The Joy of Politics

Future technologies and the way government works

Marcus Shepheard of the Institute for Government in London has posted a hopeful overview of how future technologies will be used in government in the coming years. These technologies — the devices and softwares driving what has been called the “fourth industrial revolution” — will, in Shepheard’s words, “fundamentally reshape government workforces and change how … More Future technologies and the way government works

A novel initiative in France and Switzerland

Editor’s note: The following is a partial paraphrase in English of an article* which appeared in French in Le Monde on December 19. The citizen’s ballot or referendum initiative (référendum d’initiative citoyenne, or RIC) has become one of the principal revindications of the yellow vest (gilet jaune) movement in France. A well known feature in … More A novel initiative in France and Switzerland

They also serve

In The Joy of Politics I defined politics, after Kenneth Minogue, in contradistinction to despotism, and then challenged my readers to imagine a legitimate political system that was not democratic. In the following excerpt of a commentary for Reuters, John Lloyd riffs along similar lines about politicians, citizens, and civil servants. “Democracy does not simply … More They also serve

Elections in Sweden

Herewith an excerpt of a recent post on the blog of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Date: 9 September 2018 Election type: Parliamentary Background Unicameral parliament in parliamentary constitutional monarchy: Riksdag (national legislature) composed of 349 representatives, supreme decision-making body in Sweden. Elections held every 4 years with a proportional system; parties must … More Elections in Sweden

Draft constitutions in comparative perspective

Excerpts below from an article by Zachary Elkins on Medium. The Joy of Politics posted a note on Constitute in June 2017. One nagging challenge in Constitutional design is how to involve citizens in the drafting process in a meaningful way. One traditional role for citizens is to review and approve the proposed text by … More Draft constitutions in comparative perspective