This article starts by pointing out that existing proposals to confront the failures of democracy tend to be limited to tackling the symptoms of the current dysfunctional system rather than offering meaningful alternatives to transform the system. It then suggests that a total reset is required and offers an innovative theoretical framework, to conceptualize the new political project, that can transcend the existing impasses. It further argues that such a framework ought to consist in four fundamental, interdependent, and mutually reinforcing principles: (1) equal primary, non-derivative value of all persons; (2) non-instrumentalization of persons; (3) well-being of all as a common good and the end of the political project; and (4) non-antagonistic positive peacefulness as a characterizing feature of political processes. In doing so, this article systematically re-envisages what constitutes good governance, provides a normative basis for advocating participatory democracy, and suggests ways to evaluate the processes and practices of institutions in the new political project.



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