Political Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century

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Representative democracy, as it has evolved in the United Kingdom in the second half the 19th century, represented a major step forward in advancing civic liberties. Yet, today, representative democracy – rule by professional politicians who purport to represent the general public – is increasingly seen as standing in the way of, and distorting, the popular view (or views). Washington and Brussels are often viewed as remote and unaccountable to the public. In new democracies, such as those in Eastern Europe, political parties have become a joke, and parliaments are the least trusted institutions. Is the 21st century pregnant with new forms of democratic governance and what are these forms likely to look like?

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