Being able to govern and accept being governed in a democracy




This, year, in order to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the non-profit association “Systèmes & Organisations” (S&O) organizes a symposium entitled: Being able to govern and accept being governed in a democracy: how systemic thought can help us acting? This event purports to be a sharing time open to anyone: private individuals, researchers, essayists, students, associations, institutions, labor unions, politics,… regardless of their function and status (actives, retirees, job seekers,…).

Art of governing in keeping with differences, democracy can be defined through citizen confidence in their governments and through the division of powers (or the absence of an absolute centralized power).

At a time when tragic upheavals shake societies up, it seems relevant to wonder about the challenge that democracy has to face: that of leading the conflict in the frontiers of ideas and not in the frontiers of weapons and elevating the debate to avoid simplistic shortcuts and a communitarian attitude.

The non-profit association “Système & Organisations” will tackle this thorny and constantly moving theme that democratic governance is. The ambition of this symposium is to give a cross disciplinary perspective which outshines confessional and political cleavages as well as a large range of contradictions engendered by polar thinking. The systemic eye doesn’t priory aim specialists: it is more of a contrasting perspective accessible to the greatest possible number of people.

The Systemic Thought describes multiples and complex interactions that individuals – and groups of individuals – from different backgrounds develop. It deciphers implicit principles about relationships and tensions resulting from it, in order to overcome misunderstandings.

The democratic system is not simple: a systemic eye complies with its complexity and helps to understand better the world we live in.

The expression “Being able to govern and accept being governed” questions the double requirements of a democratic system: citizens must have a panel of appropriate knowledge and behaviors in order to exert governance, while these same citizens delegate this power to those elected to represent them. Through the questions it reveals, can systemic thought and the eye and tools it provides, help us to decide to act?


The contributions to the symposium demos 16 can come from a large number of mobilized disciplines around the action, the decision making and the analysis of human societies’ governances systems.

The propositions fall within the scope of several issues including:

  • What would be the roles and the relevant forms of communication politics use?
  • Do the media have a pedagogical role to play?
  • How to develop public spaces where citizens needs can be expressed?
  • How could school help integrating systemic paradigm?
  • How to include specialists’ expertise in a global and cross disciplinary vision?
  • Do companies have to adopt democratic principles? In which forms?
  • What are the roles of academia?
  • What is the place that democracy occupies when it leaves the micro-political, economic and social field to macro one?
  • What is the influence of social media on the exercise of democracy?
  • What is the role of the environment set by political strategies?

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