The Crisis of Democracy

Many people doubt that democracy is working for them, or that it is working properly at all. Elections don’t seem to yield real-world results, other than to deepen existing political and social fissures. The crisis of democracy is largely a crisis of representation – or, to be more precise, an absence of representation and an increasing level of exclusion of the lower third of the demos from participation, an inferior representation of their interests, and a loss of democratic sovereignty in policy making. Contemporary political scientists have observed a democratic paradox that has crystallized around the disconnection between how citizens imagine their democracy and how politics is practiced. Citizens continue to believe in the values of liberal democracy but are increasingly disillusioned with how their political systems work and the politics that are practiced in the name of democracy.