Past Global Forums
2011 – Overview – Rostock
2010 – San Francisco
2009 – Seoul
2008 – Aarau
Other Previous Conferences
Join the Global Network of Direct Democracy Professionals
Since 2008 the Initiative and Referendum Institute has been instrumental in setting up the first global network of direct democracy professionals. The first World Forum took place in Aarau, Switzerland in October 2008. It brought together practitioners, activists and professionals from across the globe and featured a world tour of direct-democratic hotspots.
Special thematic forums and public events covered educational issues, developments in North America, Latin America and Asia, as well as the importance of initiatives and referendums in the European integration process. While the 2009 Forum was taking place in Korea/Asia, thegathered more than 400 citizens from all continents in San Francisco.
The next Forum is planned to take place in the second half of 2012 in Latin America.
Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy
In recent years, many states around the world have introduced direct democratic procedures and plebiscites; in Europe, there has been a massive increase in the use of popular rights since 1989, and within the framework of the European Union, consideration is being given to the first ever implementation of a transnational instrument of direct democracy - the so-called European Citizens' Initiative which is in fact an agenda initiative.
Since 1990, initiative and referendum as well as plebiscite procedures have been introduced in nearly all the countries of Latin America; in Asia, too, there is a growing tendency towards introducing direct democracy which entitles citizens to take part in decision-making on substantive political issues.
As a result, there is a growing focus, not only within politics, but also in the fields of administration, academia, media and civil society, on the qualitative aspects of modern democracy. Questions are being asked about the potential and limits of modern direct democracy both from a legal and practical point of view.
The Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy gathers professionals from politics, government, academia, civil society, business and media, and is hosted by IRI Europe, together with many of its partners including the Korea Democracy Foundation. For a full introduction and overview on the Global Forum process download our book "Global Citizens in Charge".