Understanding the history and theory of both democracy and sociocracy provides a deeper understanding of the principles and practices of what a sociocracy or sociocratic democracy might be, and why. Knowing the intention and development of an idea supports the meaningful application of its principles and practices in everyday life.
By the late-nineteenth century it was clear that the democratic ideal on which the United States had been founded was not producing equal representation even for those allowed to vote. Nor was it providing a rational structure for social or economic leadership—at the local or national levels. Workplaces were autocratic, often brutally so.
The government was dominated by politicians who often had their own interests at heart or were ignorant of democratic values.… Read More . . . “Advocating Sociocracy”
Kees Boeke and Betty Cadbury
Before World War II, Dutch educator and pacifist Cornelius “Kees” Boeke was exported from England for vocally advocating peace with Germany. He and his wife, English Quaker and social activist Beatrice “Betty” Cadbury, settled in Kees Boeke’s hometown, Bilthoven, a small community in the Netherlands. They had previously been active internationally in Quaker peace education, predominantly in the Middle East before it became too dangerous. In Bilthoven, they actively supported… Read More . . . “First Implementation of Sociocracy”
In 1978 Endenburg established the Sociocratisch Centrum in Utrecht, later moved to Rotterdam and renamed The Sociocracy Group, and began consulting with many organizationsThe Delibrative Democracy Consortium (DDC)u is an alliance o... More to implement the Sociocratic Circle-Organization Method. He also joined the faculty of the school of business at the University of Maastricht and began training business leaders.
In 2014, Endenburg has partially retired but still influences decisions related to the growth… Read More . . . “Sociocracy Today”
The idea of a sociocracy began with French philosopher and sociologist Auguste Comte. Sociology was a new science, the study of people in social groups. The root word for both sociology and sociocracy is the Latin, socius, which means a friend, an ally. People who know each other and are members of the same group or society.
The suffix -ology means “the study of” as in archeology, psychology, etc. The suffix –ocracy refers… Read More . . . “Origins of Sociocracy”
Collaborative, collective, and cooperative are words often used interchangeably. When I hear them I wonder which one the speaker or writer means. I use them interchangeably too, sort of giving equal time to all of them. I have a preference for cooperative because it seems to have fewer political overtones than collective, and collaborative reminds me of clabber. It sticks in my throat.
The Problem with Dictionaries
The dictionary definitions of these three words don’t… Read More . . . “Collaborative Collective Cooperative”
This is the standard definition of consensus used since the 1960s and 1970s, and probably before. It was published in 1981 in United Judgement: The Handbook of Consensus Decision Making by the Center for Conflict Resolution.
The goal of consensus is a decision that is consented to by all members. Of course, full consent does not mean that everyone must be completely satisfied with the final outcome—in fact, total satisfaction is rare. The decision must… Read More . . . “Definition of Consensus Decision-Making”
The sociocracy email discussion list was started in 2002. The list language is English, but members speak many languages if you have translation questions. We discuss anything related to sociocracy, democracy, and collaborative governance.
This site is a resource on sociocracy and democracy and the ways they support each other. It examines the principles and practices and the ways in which together they could better achieve their objectives. How would things get done in a sociocratic democracy?
New Edition of We the People
Updated and expanded second edition is now available in paper and digital versions—and in Spanish and Portuguese translations.