(Monothematic section edited by Severino Saccardi and Simone Siliani)
A multivocal consideration concerning the crisis of the “traditional politics”, heir of the great ideals of the XXth Century. The current crisis is threatening Western Democracies including not solely the European one. In Italy it has become a peculiar social and political lab for the so-called populist groups, which have recently risen to power. Furthermore it seems that the crisis was generated from the (real or apparent) inability of traditional right- and left-wing parties to understand and tackle social emergencies (such as the phenomenon of migration and the world-wide yet ambivalent process of globalisation) originating from our complex economic situation. New forms of poverties, a remarkable feeling of uncertainty about the future of the younger generation, the altering of jobs’ forms of their related rights, financial policies and their following growing social discontent. This discontent is not just unheard but it also lied the foundation for the ongoing unprecedented juxtaposition between the “people” and the “élite” ( as claimed by some emerging radical and anti-establishment groups ). Moreover the even more frequent use of social media in politics makes the electorate, which has been until recently loyal to the old parties, more easily influenced, fragmented and unstable. In the name of new nationalisms and of movements characterised by a certain souverainism, new political models based on the oxymoron of the “illiberal democracy” are coming into the world. These models back xenophobic clusters and aim to question the unity of the EU. From an analysis of the manifold opinions grouped in the monothematic section, it is possible to infer that there is a growing need to renew politics by rethinking both the relationship it entertains with the citizens and the way it is represented in the public domain. There is as well a need for clear answers based not only on the heritage of the European Culture but also on the idea of an Inclusive Democracy able to take responsibility for a hard ethical and civil rebirth, both challenges in our present time.