Chapter 2 The contemporary crisis of democracy. Symptoms of the democratic malaise
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Western democracies are in trouble, not for the first time. Their actual crisis is marked by many symptoms. Some of these trends concern: low voter turnout, high electoral volatility, increasing number of political parties (and increasing parties’ innovation), decreasing government stability and duration, high number of ad hoc referenda and public consultations, boom of populist movements and attitudes. The contemporary crisis concerns both the input and the output side of the political system. We are facing a participation-representation crisis on the input side and a total accountability crisis on the output side. The latter regards simultaneously sovereignty, efficacy, efficiency and transparency issues. This means that we have to deal with a double democratic delegitimization.

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