Democratising Governance

17 November 2011 to 18 November 2011

Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Melbourne

Deakin University, Melobourne

Title of Paper

A Holoreflexive Epoch in the Making: Implications for democratic discourse and practice




The Modern epoch, as turbulent and innovative as any of the preceding epochs in human evolution, is rapidly coming to an end. We are possibly witnessing the emergence of the holoreflexive epoch – a stage in human evolution where the tendency towards complexification, in particular increased social reflexivity, has reached unprecedented dimensions. The emerging system of governance is holoreflexive in the sense that data-gathering, analytical and planning functions are increasingly required to handle the management of highly interconnected flows which impinge on every sphere of human experience. The current transitional period is characterised by two trends: increasing awareness of this requirement and a clearly discernible effort to give effect to it. A paradigmatic shift in consciousness and practice is under way that carries immense implications for our understanding of the democratic discourse and practice. This paper seeks to illuminate these implications with regard to the process of continuous normative, legal and institutional change that now pervades the triangular relationship of state, market and civil society.