During the 2020 French municipal elections, about 60 cities, including some of significant size (Grenoble, Poitiers, Annecy...) elected ‘Citizens' Lists’ with an intent to bring real life to representative democracy.
It is this ‘List’ movement in France that Cooperative Approaches has selected as a primary focus for this 10th edition. Contributing is the 2014 – 2020 elected municipal team of Saillans and several testimonies including by the Mayor of Kingersheim, Mr. Laurent Riche and Christian Proust, author of the "Guide pratique pour oser s'impliquer dans la vie locale" (A Practical Guide for Those Daring to Engage in Local Politics).
This edition also attempts to better understand responses to the suppression of democracy in the United States, which at times risks further inflammation or mimicking the very objectionable authoritarian behaviors they resist. Larry Childs provides a critique around this dynamic while the stunning photographs of Kathryn Elsesser capture the crack down on protesters in Portland so reminiscent of authoritarian regimes the US once decried as abhorrent. Meanwhile in the UK, David Bull offers a hopeful Anglophone world perspective as he covers the rise of the voluntary and NGO sectors in response to COVID.
Democracy is a common good to be lived and preserved. It cannot be satisfied with an excessively formal, top-down system. It requires a real associative and cooperative dynamism.
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