Dominique Rousseau

Six Theses in Favor of Continuous Democracy Publication date : February 23, 2022

Dominique Rousseau is a jurist, professor of constitutional law at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, a member of the Conseil supérieur de la magistrature [Supreme Council of the Judiciary] from 2002 to 2006, and member of the Tribunal constitutionnel de la Principauté d’Andorre [Constitutional Court of the Principality of Andorra].

This book responds to a pressing concern.

The concern is democracy: that which is threatening it as well as its necessary transformations, is more relevant than ever:

- from an immediate perspective, due to the pandemic and the reactions it has provoked. Some people, in fact, denounce the abuses of power and the attacks on their freedom, in both the specifics and the modalities of public decisions, and the extension of the prerogatives of the executive branch in confronting the health threat;

- more profoundly, this situation only reinvigorates and exacerbates the tensions and frustrations that already exist throughout the world. In Europe, they take the form of popular movements, like the Yellow Vests or the Indignés [Outraged] in France, movements of citizens who shout out their anger at not being heard, at not having control or true weight in democratic life.

This text by Dominique Rousseau resonates greatly within the framework of a rise in populisms, which place democracy under pressure by appearing to be alternative paths for people frustrated at not being able to make themselves heard.

The book stresses the need to give back to citizens all their legitimate rights and their full ability to exercise their power “continuously,” and not only intermittently, as during electoral periods.

To give power back to citizens, not to allow their voices to be confiscated by representatives and experts without the possibility of control: this is one of the goals of the popular movements that have shaken up civil society in the past decade.

To provide juridical and constitutional solutions to this situation is one of the aims of these Six Theses which, to overcome the pitfalls of representative democracy and direct democracy, promote the idea of continuous democracy.