Democratic and responsible governance

The current, multifaceted crisis is essentially a governance issue, from the territorial level to the state level, a regulation issue in the context of globalization, which has become irreversible. The power of states over transnational corporations, the deficiencies of legal systems and international rules governing economic activities, malfunctioning systems of democratic representation… are among the many issues requiring new answers.

We must now start a revolution in governance, that is, invent ways to manage societies, ways to regulate that are new and adapted to nature, and to the extent and complexity of the problems to be solved.

Three changes in governance are needed and all three reflect the idea of responsibility.

  • First of all, the concept of public good. Public good is what benefits everyone and is not the fruit of the authorities’ action. Public good is produced jointly. This requires every player to assume his or her share of responsibility in producing public good, as much from the moral as from the legal point of view. The impact of finance on the world, for example, implies that financial players assume responsibility for their impact on society, including legally.

  • Then, the articulation of scales of governance. No serious problem of our societies can be managed at any single scale. This includes health, education, employment, economic development, and social cohesion. It entails that the core of governance be constituted today of the conditions for cooperation among these scales of governance and not, as is still too often the case, of methods for distributing jurisdictions among them. This brings up the need to define methods of co-responsibility among these various levels of governance.

  • Finally, experience proves that the transition to sustainable societies implies a systemic change and that it can therefore not be led without cooperation among many players, which supposes multi-player strategies based on the definition, here too, of the conditions for their co-responsibility, each in proportion to his or her capacity.

Articulating legal systems from the national to the global ones, learning how to activate cooperation among scales of governance and among players, becoming able to lead long-term transition strategies jointly, therefore to count on one another: all of this puts the question of responsibility at the core of the revolution in governance, from local to global.

What innovative concepts, what initiatives from the local levels to the global one, what innovative political action projects, what legal proposals do we need for democratic and responsible governance?

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