The Case for Democracy explores the psychological biases; distorted risk perceptions; frenetic journalism; the impotence of science; the narrow focus of 'experts'; value judgements dressed up as truths; propaganda; the invisibility of ethics; and the alarming irrelevance of inclusive democracy that have been features of the human reaction to the covid-19 pandemic. David Seedhouse argues that the chaotic human response to the virus, with no attempt to include the public, is the perfect argument for an extensive, participatory democracy. It is time for us to solve our problems together. David Seedhouse is Professor of Deliberative Practice at Aston University.
This book was written quickly and is intended to be read quickly. I began writing in mid-March and submitted the manuscript at the end of May. While the story of the pandemic will be dated by the time you read it, this strange episode in human history has brought fundamental issues in psychology, risk, public health, ethics and democracy into sharp focus. As these are explained in the following pages, their enduring relevance to social organisation, planning and citizen engagement is made clear.
Originally the book was to be called A Viral Imbalance. Like many other observers I was struck – and personally disturbed – by what I saw as a one-eyed approach to a novel infectious disease. Governments around the world were imposing ...