This paper from Polly Mackenzie, the second in the Making Democracy Work series, looks at the vast scope of the change we are living through, and the way in which that change shifts the landscape for the kind of state the country needs. Polly argues that to thrive through an era of exponential change we need a new ‘gravitational state’. The final paper will set out what that should look like, but this paper explains why it’s needed.
The more divergence between the interests of different groups within society, the harder it is to sustain consensual policy making within a democratic society. But the more people trust, and feel solidarity with, others within their society, the more willing they are to support compromises and sacrifices in the interests of the common good.
In this paper, Polly looks at twelve different features of the age we live in that are sabotaging that delicate balance and making it harder for us to secure widespread democratic consent for the policies we need to respond.