Reconceptualizing Democratic Innovation

“Democratic Innovation Repertoires” and Their Impact Within and Beyond Social Movements

in Democratic Theory
Cristina Flesher FominayaProfessor, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark

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Democratic innovation is one way the multiple crises of democracy can be addressed. The literature on democratic innovation has yet to adequately interrogate the role of social movements, and more specifically the movement of democratic imaginaries, in innovation, nor has it considered the specific mechanisms through which movements translate democratic imaginaries and practices into innovation. This article provides a preliminary roadmap for methodological and conceptual innovation in our understanding of the role of social movements in democratic innovation. It introduces the concept of democratic innovation repertoires and argues that: a) we need to broaden our conceptualization and analysis of democratic innovation to encompass the role of social movements; and b) we need to understand how the relationship between democratic movement imaginaries and the praxis that movements develop in their quest to “save” or strengthen democracy can shape democratic innovation beyond movement arenas after mobilizing “events” have passed.

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