Democracy: by design and on the move

Essay by Erica Dorn and Federico Vaz: “We live in an era of hyper-mobility, marked by the mass movement of people virtually, trans-locally, and globally. More people are on the move than ever before in human history. Today, dispersed across the globe, there are between 272 million and one billion migrants. More than 15 million people worldwide live without nationality, and an even larger number of people live undocumented.

Much like James C. Scott, it can be tempting to think that the state has always seemed to be the enemy of ‘people who move around‘. For the kinetic elite, borders are thresholds of access. Meanwhile, for a growing number of displaced people, borders represent inhumane exclusion.

More than 15 million people worldwide live without nationality, and an even larger number of people live undocumented

Current democratic structures designed to be representative of the people cannot adapt to the increasing number of people on the move. As a result, an overwhelming gap exists between the rapidly changing reality of democracies made up of ineligible voters, and the need for inclusive participation in the democratic process.

In the US, several cities, including New York, have taken measures to pass non-citizen voting policies. These promote the inclusion of more residents in local elections. However, given generally low voter turnout, it will take more than voting rights to create more inclusive democracies…(More)”.