Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear
Stakeholder Democracy fits within the paradigm of democracy, arguing that stakeholders strengthen representative democracy while recognizing that the definition of democracy has itself changed over time.
The continuum used in this book moves from representative democracy towards participatory democracy, and the theory of change we have tried to flesh out is that involving stakeholders in the decision-making process makes better-informed policy, which in turn means that stakeholders are more likely to want to be involved in the delivery of that policy by themselves or in partnerships with others.
This book attempts to bridge the space between multi-stakeholder policy engagement and multi-stakeholder partnerships. It is always difficult to combine those two things, but I think we managed it. If you are only interested in understanding how to engage in multi-stakeholder partnerships, there are ideas here on how to do that while improving the work that you already do. If you are interested in how stakeholders have helped develop policy, we have tried to share some examples that you might build from.
The number of different ways to engage more people in democratic discourse is increasing, which is good news. Unfortunately, we have also seen how the same channels can be used by outside forces to undermine democratic institutions.
“We also have to be honest that many people have lost their trust in conventional politics and the vision of the future these are presenting: as in long-term thinking and sustainable development. There is uncertainty as to what this is all about, even among experts. In addition, we see in many countries a growing disconnect between politics and the expectations of the people.” (Bachmann, 2018)
The steps towards a more “global citizen” approach and a more engaged population in countries, cities, and communities will require a more informed population than we have at present.