Can the Workers Speak Both Collectively and Democratically? Rethinking Union Democracy
Contemporary democracies are in crisis and representative democracy as the sole mode of exercising power is increasingly questioned. Around the globe, democratic innovations offer various participatory propositions to involve citizens in political deliberation and decision-making. But the critique of representation extends beyond the institutional political system. To be perceived as legitimate, other political and social vehicles therefore need to be screened under the lens of the critique of representation. Among these, unions constitute a crucial counter-power in our democracies, one that must also be democratic. Combining normative theory and empirical research, this research seeks to explore how unions, as a vehicle for workers to collectively express their voice, benefit from democratic innovations, with the aim of both increasing their legitimacy and strengthening democratic life at large.