The Democratic Panopticon

Harnessing our collective power and intelligence to create a culture of digitally enhanced citizen participation across borders. At the end of the 18th century, the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham was obsessed with the idea of a perfect prison, which he called the panopticon. In his countless drawings of circular cells arranged concentrically around a tower, […]

Seven lessons on citizen participation for CoFoE

What can the EU Convention and the French Climate Convention tell us about how to develop successful models for deliberative democracy? Experiments with deliberative assemblies – whether successful or otherwise – offer valuable learning experiences for all involved with the incipient ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’ (CoFoE). Among recent examples, the ‘European Convention’ of […]

Will the new COFOE digital platform live up to its promise? From Barcelona to Brussels and back

Today, on 19 April, the long-awaited Digital Platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe (COFOE) will be unveiled. This ought to give EU citizens, civil society and the political establishment some time to familiarise themselves with this cornerstone experiment in ‘virtual transnational democracy’ ahead of the formal launch of the Conference in Strasbourg […]