2012 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy

U.S. Conference on Initiative & Referendum


To people all over the world who study, participate in, or want to learn about modern direct democracy:


Thank you so much for joining at the 2012 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy on November 14-16 in Montevideo, Uruguay – the 4th World Conference on Citizens Participation.


It was a great event with great people from more than 25 countries across the globe, all gathered at a truly spectacular setting where the Rio de la Plata meets the South Atlantic. Thanks to all of you, and especially our fabulous hosts from the Uruguayan Political Science Association, who made this event possible.


At the Forum, we heard stories from around the globe about why, how and where modern democracy is taking important steps forward. We received the latest research on how representative and direct democratic tools can best be combined. And we learned about Uruguay’s role as a global leader in direct democratic practice, and about efforts throughout Latin America to build on the democratic advances of the last generation.


While democracy is rapidly advancing around the world, the vital infrastructure of democracy – the tools that make democracies robust and give people direct power over how they are governed – has not been built as quickly. For this very reason, the 2012 Forum agreed on the Montevideo Declaration on Modern Direct Democracy.


We hope you will continue to participate in the Global Forum process, and join us in our work to make the world’s democracies more democratic in the years to come.




Joe Mathews and Bruno Kaufmann


Co-presidents, Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy

Dear Friends of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy,

We have heard the same question from many of you: When and where will the next Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy take place? This letter is an attempt to answer that question.

The short answer: not in 2014. 

People from 25 countries around the world gathered in Montevideo, Uruguay, in mid-November for the fourth gathering of this world conference on participatory democracy. They heard stories and research of why, how and where modern direct democracy is taking important steps forward. Thank you for participating, assisting, supporting and observing this Forum. At the end of the forum, participants agreed on a statement, the Montevideo Declaration on Modern Direct Democracy, setting out guidelines for best practices and future development of democratic tools. 

Hundreds of participants from more than 40 countries across the world will meet in mid-november in Montevideo/Uruguay to continue a global conversation on the promises and perils of modern direct democracy. The 4th World Conference on citizen participation will focus on the state of the art of the initiative and referendum process internationally and adress key issues like the need of a supportive infrastructure for efficient citizens lawmaking as well at the opportunities linked to electronic tools. Please become part of this conversation and get the official 2012 Global Forum Booklet Now!