December 10, 2023

Science and democracy initiatives provide a strong impetus

Science and democracy initiatives provide a strong impetus

What forms of democratic participation can exist apart from elections and party membership? This question was addressed during the first seminar on the renewal of democracy at the Koblenz campus.

The first symposium on the renewal of democracy was recently held in Koblenz, organized by the City of Koblenz Partnership for Democracy (funded by the Federal Program “Living Democracy!”), Faculty 2: Philology/Cultural Studies and Knowledge Transfer The Research Center was organized at the University of Koblenz-Landau. The seminar was moderated by Anki Bronze. The aim was to discuss approaches to new forms of democratic participation from the perspective of science and democracy initiatives and to develop a proposal for further citizen participation in Koblenz from these findings and experiences. This should also ensure the improvement of the actors in the Koblenz network. To this end, representatives of science, business, local politics, education and civil society initiatives from Koblenz met on both days and discussed, among other things, the question of whether there could and should be other forms of political participation apart from elections and participation in parties.

On the first day, input from science and practice was provided. The political scientist, Dr. Dr.. Roland Roth has assessed German democratic politics in recent years and identified possible areas for action. Mr. Dr. Ina Kerner, Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Koblenz-Landau, commented on the lecture with the aim of developing a radical democratic theory. Next, representatives of civil society initiatives committed to more democratic participation presented their work and reported on practical experience:

Marie Catherine Semmer and Friedrich Wegener of the Society for Liquid Democracy in Berlin presented the Saturation + Participation platform, which makes it possible to create and implement participatory processes for one’s political action in simple steps. Achim Fulville, NRW state bureau chief for a Democratic Mehr, spoke about the challenges facing our democracy and how they might be addressed. Among more than one vote, Laura Tuffkirch has given insight into the work of her association, which has been organizing the Frankfurt Democracy Conference since 2019, where citizens from Frankfurt are randomly selected to make recommendations for action on city policies.

On the second day, concrete proposals were developed with the participants as part of a global café. Together they discussed what could be done in Koblenz for more democratic participation and how ideas – eg a council of citizens based on the Frankfurt model – could be implemented in Koblenz.

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