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The FabDem, for democratic renewal


In the context of a profound  loss of democratic impetus, and this, despite the transition period for humanity and the planet that we are experiencing, IRG offers the FabDem as a way to take action towards the democratic renewal of united, sustainable societies.

A breath of fresh air is blowing on our democracy. Despite an intense and deeply-rooted crisis, many actions are leading to a renewal, one coming notably, from local territories. Dynamics are taking place without profoundly transforming the present system. However, democratic transition remains one of the necessary conditions for the success of ecological and social transition. Defining the values and rules for a new model of sustainable development is a collective challenge.  Therefore we must take the path of renewal of democratic governance.

The Fabriques aim for a democratic renewal
IRG shares the conviction that our societies are opening space favourable to a strengthened citizen investment, as well as a change in the practice of power. The Fabriques de la transition démocratique position themselves in this way. Their aim is to contribute concretely and efficiently to transforming the system through the cross-fertilisation of tested innovations and the provision of analysis on their potential for more global action. Together all the actors hold the key to the future of democracy.

The co-production of public action is a central route to democratic refounding. It is characterised by the intervention of actors with heterogenous interests and by the interactions between the various regulations that these actors mobilise. It is at the heart of this diversity that representations and practices are created, be they cultural, social or political, and which are the basis for the creation of a common political and civic culture. For IRG, the support, in the public sphere, of concrete  forms for constructive and mutually strengthening interactions between actors and these regulations is a strong vector for change in the practice of power and democratic renewal.


The local, a fertile ground for a new form of action
Within the framework of the Fabriques de la transition démocratique, IRG is initially focusing its efforts at the local level, the true laboratory of democratic transition. The Cop 21 reminded us that its recommendations should be put into place in local territories, as close as possible to the daily needs and realities of citizens and inhabitants. The local level has a pre-eminent role to play as a vector for more global democratic change. This change can’t occur without considering the indispensable articulation (action and decision) with other levels, national and supranational, which condition the room for manœuvre. Nor by resonating in terms of duplication of models on different levels. A keen comprehension of the conditions of empowerment of all (Ex : territorial identities) allows the levers of systemic change to be assured.

Two challenges are at the heart of this concrete renovation of democratic governance :
The first is to « re-legitimise » democracy as a political system in opposition to populist responses surfing on the defiance of institutions which are not responding sufficiently to social anxieties.
The second is to refound democracy with development founded on an effective access to rights for everyone, social justice and sustainability.

The matrix of the Fabriques
The Fabriques are rooted in a pragmatic method between practices and research. They work towards the capitalisation of ongoing democratic innovations  (in 10 French territories in 2018) in order to produce analysis, tools and a political appeal. They open up exchanges for action amongst those who wish to engage differently in the upcoming elections.
They are involved in the public debate with propositions for reforms and actions with the aim of refounding the democratic system. It is understood that the capacities for the engineering of democratic action by combining, training and accompanying the initiatives of local actors must be strengthened.

Concrete results in the mid to long term
What IRG hopes to obtain with the Fabriques de la transition démocratique is, on one hand, an increase in the place for (local) democratic innovation to make a change in the paradigm, in the public debate. And, on the other hand, to strengthen the collective dynamic of democratic innovators. This will allow for democratic transition by means of an impact on the political system. Concretely, the local elections of 2020 should allow these practices to find a real place in public debate, public policy and institutional reforms. We need to ensure that they weigh on, as rapidly as possible, the ways of formulating the definition of a sustainable and inclusive society.

For more information go to http://fabriques.institut-gouvernance.org/
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