Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Magnus Adenskog"

Titel: After the Equilibrium: Democratic Innovations and Long-term Institutional Development in the City of Reykjavik
Autor: Magnus Adenskog
Seite: 31-51

Although democratic innovations (DIs) are spread all over the world, there is little research on the institutional outcomes of implementing such innovations in governmental organisations. To remedy this, it is important to focus on cases where DIs have been implemented and formally connected to the policymaking process over a longer period. Reykjavik provides such a case. Drawing on observations and interviews with key stakeholders over a period of three years, this study analyses how the institutional logic of DIs influenced the local government in Reykjavik. The study presents two conclusions: First, it is clear that one equilibrium (representative democracy) has not been replaced by another (participatory democracy). Second, there is no peaceful co-existence between the two, but instead the outcome is an organisation in ‘a state of flux’. There are several factors contributing to this outcome, but three stand out: a populist power-shift, dissatisfaction with theworking of the implemented DIs and deliberative ambiguity. In the final part of the article, the institutional outcome is discussed in relation to overall consequences for the political system.

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