Slow Democracy

From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search

= Book and site


* Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home by Susan Clark and Woden Teachout (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012).



"Just as slow food encourages chefs and eaters to become more intimately involved with the production of local food, and slow money helps us become more engaged with our local economy, slow democracy encourages us to govern ourselves locally with processes that are inclusive, deliberative, and citizen powered.

In Slow Democracy, community leader Susan Clark and democracy scholar Woden Teachout document the range of ways that citizens around the country are breathing new life into participatory democracy in their communities.

Large institutions and centralized governments, with top-down, expert-driven thinking, are no longer society’s drivers. In fact, they are often responsible for tearing communities apart. New decision-making techniques now pair with cutting-edge communication tools to make local communities—and the citizens who live there—uniquely suited to meet today’s challenges.

In Slow Democracy, readers learn the stories of residents who gain community control of water systems and local forests, parents who find creative solutions to divisive and seemingly irreconcilable school-redistricting issues, and a host of other citizen-led actions that are reinvigorating local democracy and decision making.

Along with real-life examples of slow democracy in action, Clark and Teachout also provide twenty simple guidelines for communities, and citizens, to use as ways to reinvigorate their local democratic process.

With a future more and more focused on local food, local energy, and local economies, Slow Democracy offers strategies to improve our skills at local governance and to reinvigorate community democracy."


Susan Clark and Woden Teachout:

"If we want to re-energize democracy it has to be more than the same old political system transposed to the community level. Instead we need slow democracy, which is not a clarion call for endless meetings but a reminder of the care that’s needed for full-blooded community decision making.

Slow democracy takes its name from the “slow food” movement, which argues that the centralization and homogenization of “fast food” symbolizes much of what is wrong in society. Paralleling slow food’s push for authenticity in what we eat, slow democracy calls for firsthand knowledge of the local decisions that affect us. Just as slow food encourages cooks and eaters to become more intimately involved with the production of local food, slow democracy weaves together three key elements of democratic decision making: inclusion - ensuring broad, diverse public participation; deliberation - defining problems, weighing options, and co-creating solutions through sound information and respectful relationships; and power - defining a clear connection between citizen participation, public decisions, and action." (

More Information



"Slow Democracy is a site dedicated to local decision making that is inclusive, deliberative, and citizen-powered. It is based on the book Slow Democracy."