Fostering democractic societies to fight platform populists: the Brazilian experience

Alessandra Orofino

19 Mar 2019, 10:30 a.m.
Room CC9, Level -1 (Conference Centre)

Recent years have seen the rise of platform populists gaining control of governments across the world.

They campaign on an authoritarian agenda and with little care for democratic values, yet ironically, these tyrants are elected by citizens through democratic processes.

Alessandra suggests that the best way to fight this tendency is to focus on fostering democratic societies rather than simply democratic institutions. In Brazil, the grassroots organisation that she founded, NOSSAS, has a strong background in cultivating citizen-led activism and direct engagement in political decision-making processes, while also supporting the growth of solidarity networks.

NOSSAS gives people the tools to create resilient structures that can guarantee access to basic services to the most vulnerable people in society, even when they are having their rights threatened and services are being dismantled by the state itself.