PETITIONS, PROTESTS, LIQUID DEMOCRACY
Online from October 13, 2020
Fantasies of empowerment or much-needed democracy update? Online petitions, iconoclasms and toppling monuments, civil disobedience and bottom-up processes—current participation models all have one thing in common: they believe that participation in civil society goes beyond representative and democratic processes.In recent months, for example, the Fridays for Future movement and Black Lives Matter protests have increased public awareness of demands to deal with climate change and racism. Is this mobilization an expression of the often-cited “crisis of democracy” or, on the contrary, a sign of the vitality of the democratic model?
Neue Bauherrschaften - Öffentliche Architektur im Bürgerauftrag
“Architecture is the ordering of social relations through built structures,” maintains the philosopher Christian Posthofen. Architecture is thus a societal battlefield, too: who owns and uses what is built? Who plans it, who needs it—and what for? Behind compulsory purchase orders and rent caps, building groups and funding programs, lies the question of how socially minded these buildings truly are, who benefits from them and who does not, and what relationships architecture creates between people and their environment.
Shutting up? Acting in times of noisy rethorics
Sometimes things get loud—whether that’s in your own family, at a rock concert, or in politics. Shouting sentences, or even screaming furiously, can be healthy. Too much of this, however, poisons the social climate and does not help, for our ears can easily miss something much quieter, yet with incomparably more power than any noisy rhetoric: action.
From rage to courage: About Political Relations Crises
Which new strategies does politics offer to cities and towns, and to their civil societies? How can filter bubbles and echo chambers be opened up, creating new chances for democratic compromises? What kind of language must we invent, which would allow us to understand each other better, to endure and overcome our conflicts? We would like to listen to people who can report from their own practices, describing how they involved whole towns in their discussions, sketched plans for a new community consciousness, or reached new public audiences. A workshopping conversation with representatives from the laboratory of local politics.
Dispute culture. Mediation and conflict transformation in crisis areas
Conflicts are good; As long as there is room for dialogue. They generate social momentum in private and public life. Every democracy is a constructive cultivation of conflict. But some conflicts are so complicated, deadlocked, or even dangerous that the conflicting parties can see no way out. For centuries, mediators have had to act as neutral intermediaries between the two fronts and find a balance between their conflicting interests and needs.
Decision-Making on the Citizens’ Behalf. Is it Still Democratic?
Politics and the administration act on their citizens’ behalf; a representative democracy cannot afford to have any doubts about this. Yet our faith in public representatives’ ability to fulfill this task has been wavering. The impenetrability of global developments and the practical constraints of policies driven by efficiency-oriented thinking are alienating the electorate from democratic institutions. The increased coarsening of political discussion is producing cracks in political structures. Anyone today who claims to act on the citizens’ behalf is entering uncertain territory. As every regional commissioner knows, you have to prove yourself before you can be trusted.