Monitory democracy (since World War II): There was, according to Keane, a “worldwide rebirth of democratic politics…immediately after World War Two” which has “already pushed democracy beyond familiar horizons, into unfamiliar territory”. Democracy has now become a global force, with its language, ideals and institutions becoming familiar to peoples of all nationality, religion and geography. From a situation where, in 1941, there were only eleven democracies left on the face of the earth, democracy has “bounced back from oblivion”. By the end of the twentieth century, 119 countries (out of a total of 192) could claim to be some form of electoral democracy.

What is emerging now, according to Keane in 2009 when he was writing, is a post-Westminster form of democracy that he labels “monitory democracy”. This form embodies the hundreds of different types of “power-monitoring devices that never existed within the old democracy”, e.g. special interest lobby groups, NGOs, public commissions and forums, think-tanks, international covenants, earth watch organisations, bloggers, whistleblowers, legal class actions, and many novel forms of media scrutiny.

Dr Peter Saul summaries John Keane in his December 2011 article Reinventing democracy (St James Ethics Centre)

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