The Democracy Stack

First version of the democracy stack

This post is really just a sketch of something I have been calling the democracy stack. The idea behind the democracy stack is a believe that representative democracy needs to be seen as just one part of a democratic system and that participatory and deliberative ‘layers’ are also needed.  The diagram above is an attempt to show this.

It probably needs some explanation!  Its based on the model of civic space which I developed in my thesis which talks about the civic space needed in order to better connect social and democratic activity.  You can read more about that here.

The democracy stack is work in progress but is intended as the process companion to the digital civic space model and looks at the types of activity and nature of decision making which might be most appropriate in each of these spaces.  One of my current interests in this model is how we better connect concepts such as co-design or co-production to a democratic framework and the democracy stack is a way of doing this.  I’m currently thinking about how to develop these ideas but I think the main areas will be:

  • How do you involve members in a codesign process which both supports the shared power of the process at the same time as respecting the democratic mandate they bring?
  • How do you create more deliberative activities (rather than consultative approaches) to connect participatory and representative decision making?

I can’t decide whether I like the faux-technical term stack or if I am just being self-indulgent in the language – feedback on this is very welcome!

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