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The dawn of digital democracy

New parties the world over are using technology to enhance democratic engagement, and the UK could be next

By Geoff Mulgan  

Spanish artwork demanding direct digital democracy

This is an exciting moment for new parties in Europe, such as the UK Independence Party, Germany’s Alternative fuer Deutschland, the Finns Party and the Sweden Democrats, all of whom are benefitting from anger and distrust directed against incumbent politicians and elites. Many of them have now progressed to become serious contenders for power.

Most of the debate about these parties has focused on their programmes—populist, anti-European Union and anti-immigrant. There has been much less attention paid to what…

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