Democratic Institutions and Prosperity: The Benefits of an Open Society

European Parliamentary Research Service

11 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2021

See all articles by Gianluca Sgueo

Gianluca Sgueo

Center for Social Studies - University of Coimbra; European Parliamentary Research Service; New York University

Jerome Leon Saulnier

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ionel Zamfir

European Parliamentary Research Service

Date Written: February 5, 2021

Abstract

The ongoing structural transformation and the rapid spread of the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution are challenging current democratic institutions and their established forms of governance and regulation.

At the same time, these changes offer vast opportunities to enhance, strengthen and expand the existing democratic framework to reflect a more complex and interdependent world. This process has already begun in many democratic societies but further progress is needed.

Examining these issues involves looking at the impact of ongoing complex and simultaneous changes on the theoretical framework underpinning beneficial democratic regulation. More specifically, combining economic, legal and political perspectives, it is necessary to explore how some adaptations to existing democratic institutions could further improve the functioning of democracies while also delivering additional economic benefits to citizens and society as whole. The introduction of a series of promising new tools could offer a potential way to support democratic decision-makers in regulating complexity and tackling ongoing and future challenges. The first of these tools is to use strategic foresight to anticipate and control future events; the second is collective intelligence, following the idea that citizens are collectively capable of providing better solutions to regulatory problems than are public administrations; the third and fourth are concerned with design-thinking and algorithmic regulation respectively. Design-based approaches are credited with opening up innovative options for policy-makers, while algorithms hold the promise of enabling decision-making to handle complex issues while remaining participatory.

Keywords: democracy, algorithms, participation, European Union, EU, technology, economy, foresight, decision-making, politics, civil society, regulation, public sector, innovation, design-thinking

Suggested Citation

Sgueo, Gianluca and Sgueo, Gianluca and Saulnier, Jerome Leon and Zamfir, Ionel, Democratic Institutions and Prosperity: The Benefits of an Open Society (February 5, 2021). European Parliamentary Research Service, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3779974

Gianluca Sgueo (Contact Author)

Center for Social Studies - University of Coimbra ( email )

Apartado 3008
Coimbra, 3001-454
Portugal

HOME PAGE: http://www.gianlucasgueo.com

European Parliamentary Research Service ( email )

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New York University ( email )

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Florence, Florence 50139
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.gianlucasgueo.it

Jerome Leon Saulnier

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ionel Zamfir

European Parliamentary Research Service ( email )

Brussels
Belgium

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