#CargoOfBricks 10: Social science can help NI politicians catch up with where the people already are and want to be...

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By Slugger O'Toole. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Rosa Luxemburg once observed that without all the components of democracy (elections, unrestricted free press and assembly, and free struggle of opinion), "public life gradually falls asleep, and a few dozen party leaders of inexhaustible energy direct and rule".

In Northern Ireland we certainly have elections (three of them last year alone). But after twenty years plus of on/off institutions politics there's a growing gap between the people and the political machines which appoint them to look after their interests.

Who saw the 2019 Alliance surge coming? Mick had a notion three years ago something was coming. But Professor Pete Shirlow tells me he saw evidence building within social science over the last ten years, but the bigger parties had become too insular to take it seriously.

An insularity that means the DUP staunch social conservatism is now actively alienating young Protestants, whilst Sinn Féin's belief in the demography as a means of unification is undermined by the fact that identity amongst the young is far more fluid than its ever been.

Mick is off for a few weeks now, but he'll be back in September with a new series of #CargoOfBricks. In the meantime, catch up Cargo of Bricks and In Conversation and subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your favourite podcasts.

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