The liberal representative model of democracy is in a crisis. In protest camps, neighbourhood assemblies and through other non-hierarchical initiatives, the Occupy movement as well as other recent anti-austerity movements are redefining democracy as a positive way to engage with this crisis. The more direct democratic models of organisation that they are employing are not aimed at making the politicians regain their lost public legitimacy. Instead, direct democracy is perceived by these movements as a radical alternative to the established forms of representation. Can direct democracy become an actual alternative to representative democracy? This book takes an engaged and in-depth look at the Occupy movement in Ireland and the San Francisco Bay Area in the US in order to present the most up-to-date evidence of the changing nature of popular democratic demands. It takes an insider's perspective to analyse the internal processes and iterations of the movement. Establishing links between social movements and transformations of democracy, as well as underscoring the significance of the recent movements for the future of democracy, this book is essential reading for students, scholars and activists interested in direct democracy, social movements, and radical politics more generally.
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