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Slow Democracy (Slow Démocratie)

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Original Language: French | 350 pp. | October 2019

2 Seas Represents: World Excl. French.

English sample available

ESSAY | POLITICS

Neither populist nor eurosceptic, David Djaïz shows that the national level remains indispensable when thinking about solidarity, ecology and progress — Laurent Joffrin, Libération

Reining in globalization and regaining control of our own fate.

In response to unbridled globalization, which is undermining national sovereignty in many countries and which promotes the rise of populism, it is high time to apply the brakes. Western democracies need to regain control of their own fates, and there is only one tool that will allow them to do that: nations. Not the ones loved by nationalists and anti-Europeans. The ones that will allow us to rebuild lost our political, social, and territorial unity. Open, social, ecological and humanist nations. 

And we need to act fast, because the far right is coming to power in countries around the globe, and it appeals to young voters. To parry the rise of populisms, we can no longer settle for wishful thinking about standing together against fascism, or makeshift solutions doled out by governments to extinguish outbursts. Liberal democracy, which we thought was too deeply entrenched to be uprooted, is in fact at death’s door. And if nothing changes, the voting booths will sound its death knell. 

So Slow Democracy, founded on sovereign nations, represents the only viable future for our western democracies. Social-democrats, ecologists, and progressives shouldn’t be afraid to claim it as their own. The nation is a forward-thinking project. It is becoming more and more urgent to wrest it back from the hands of the pyromaniacs who are instrumentalizing it for their racist, nationalistic ambitions. 

David Djaïz is a high-ranking civil servant and a professor at France’s prestigious “Sciences Po” school, he is very much on the same wavelength as the American political scientist Yascha Mounk and the political analyst Jérôme Fourquet. By evacuating simplistic solutions and fragile compromises, he is calling for a serious reflection on democracy, ecology, and the role of the nation, a subject that has been central to progressive American intellectuals for several months now.