What Western Democracies can Learn from China?

  • Žilvinas Svigaris Lithuanian Culture Research Institute
Keywords: democracy, democratic reforms, free market, decentralisation, neoliberalism, Chinese economic reforms


Western democracies have become neoliberal with all the disproportions of economic and political power that have emerged in capitalist society. The power acquired in the free market not only deforms the integrity of society and economic and political balance, but also it has become virtually impossible for democracy as a form of government to exist. As the scale of the free market became global, the economic entity has also gone global creating disproportions that have led Western democracies to be ruled by economic entities rather than political ones. However, proper education, the use of new economic decentralisation trends, changing the role of politicians and the activity of citizens, and emerging new possibilities of digital democracy give us a glimpse of how to use the opportunities of the free market for strengthening democracies. At the same time, the reforms that have taken place in China in recent years have paradoxically shown that neoliberalism can also have positive aspects for society, which, as a new balance of economic and political capital, can be applied in the West as well.

Contemporary Challenges: Technology, Democracy