This is the first paper in a new series from Polly Mackenzie attempting to make the case for change in how we do politics, and setting the agenda for Demos in the years to come.

From technological trends changing the way we interact and the way our markets work to why the state needs to find a new role to hold together the societies of the twenty-first century, this first paper has a relatively simple goal: to explain why any of this matters when it comes to making democracy work.

Polly argues that a well-designed democracy has a unique ability to help bind citizens together in common endeavour; democracy builds the legitimacy of the state and helps hold citizens together in a state of trust. It’s that trust – the bonds between people – that supports the altruism and mutuality a strong society needs alongside open markets and individual freedom. This is a pragmatic argument about how to design a democracy that actually works; a society capable of resolving its problems.

Read the paper here.