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Democracy & Governance

stories

A caterpillar turns into a chrysalis, and then into a butterfly.

Ep. 1: Gar Alperovitz & Gus Speth on the Next System

NSP Co-Chairs discuss the current political context and the pathways toward transformation. read more
Ecuador's "citizen revolution"

Ecuador's "citizen revolution"

While breaking from neoliberalism the way that the Correa government did may have required the state to reassert its authority over the economy, the question remains: what might have happened had the administration worked effectively with social movements to forward its goals? read more
Social Programs in Venezuela Under the Chavista Governments: Innovative Policies, Social Inclusion and Institutional Weakness

Social Programs in Venezuela Under the Chavista Governments

Hugo Chávez’ election as Venezuela’s president in 1998 as a political outsider with 56 percent of the vote attests largely to his appeal among those excluded from the nation’s political, economic and cultural life. Most of these so-called “marginalized” Venezuelans work in the informal economy, while others belong to the rural work force. Their important political role is significant because it helped shaped the social programs that the Chávez government implemented, particularly their innovative and experimental aspects. read more
bureaucracy

Bureaucracy

Why is bureaucracy problematic? What can be done in a pluralist commonwealth to minimize necessary bureaucracy? What contemporary interventions or potential interventions illustrate democratic control of large-scale entities? read more

videos

Illustration of groups of people connected by lines

The Pluralist Commonwealth

In this video, Next System Project Co-chair Gar Alperovitz sketches the major institutions of a systemic alternative based in plural forms of democratic ownership, orientated around community at various scales—what he calls "The Pluralist Commonwealth." read more
"We Need An Alternative", on top of an image of a factory.

Toward Democratic Eco-Socialism

Social systems, whether they exist at the local, regional, or global levels, do not last forever. Capitalism, as a globalizing political economic system committed to profit making and continual economic growth, has created a treadmill of production and consumption that is heavily dependent upon fossil fuels and has resulted in greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. read more
Money laid out on a chalkboard with arrows drawn around the coins.

What is a participatory workplace?

As part of our "New Systems: Possibilities and Proposals" series, Robin Hahnel sketched the basic contours of a model for a participatory economy. read more
A picture of money moving schematically on a chalkboard to indicate the concentration of wealth in a financial institution.

What is Economic Democracy?

Democratize labor! Democratize capital! Democratize democracy! These are the rallying cries David Schweickart deploys in his call for Economic Democracy, one of the first papers in our "New Systems" series exploring viable political-economic alternatives to the present order. read more

collections

A geometric construction overlaid over a gradient

New Systems: Possibilities and Proposals

Truly addressing the problems of the twenty-first century requires going beyond business as usual – it requires “changing the system.” But what does this mean? And what would it entail? read more
Lots of elements of a community powered by sustainable energy: solar, wind, and more.

Building Community Capacity for Energy Democracy: A Deck of Strategies

Energy democracy is the simple idea that the transition we urgently need to clean, renewable sources of energy should be accomplished hand-in-hand with the expansion of a more equitable economy and of a more participatory democracy. read more
Lots of elements of a community powered by sustainable energy: solar, wind, and more.

La Democracia Energética: Una Baraja de Cartas

La democracia energética es la sencilla idea de que la transición a fuentes de energía renovables, que tan urgentemente necesitamos, debería ir de la mano con la expansión de una economía más equitativa y de una democracia más participativa. read more
A man looking at a pink sea.

Latin America's "pink tide" and the challenge of systemic change

As the United States confronts its own political crossroads, we hope the insights here can contribute to a sharpening our analysis of political change and help further our understanding of the possibilities—and challenges—that await us as we pursue system change. read more