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Beasts and Gods: How Democracy Changed Its Meaning and Lost Its Purpose

Democracy is sold to us on its ability to deliver equal opportunity, and to give every citizen an equal voice. Yet time and again we see that this is not the case: power and spoils alike flow to the few, while the many are left with no recourse. What is wrong with democracy? Nothing, says Roslyn Fuller: what we have simply isn’t democracy – it is a perversion of it, created by poorly designed electoral systems, weak campaign laws, and broad limitations on participation and representation at nearly every level.

Backing her argument with copious empirical data analyzing a wide variety of voting methods across twenty nations, Fuller makes her conclusion irrefutable: if we want true democracy, we have to return to the philosophical insights that originally underpinned it, and thoroughly re-examine the goals and methods of democracy and democratic participation. A radical, damning, yet at the same time fiercely hopeful work, Beasts and Gods aims to reconfigure the very foundations of modern society.


‘Beasts and Gods provides a fascinating contrast between democracy in theory and democracy in practice. It deconstructs the assumptions underlying representative democracy, and debunks the fiction that modern elections are “free and fair.” ‘

Marjorie Cohn
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

‘This is the inside story of the slow death of democracy – a loss of power for ordinary people which is occurring almost without comment and, even more worrying, without real protest.’

Nick Davies
The Guardian


Biehler on International Law: An Irish Perspective

The first of its kind in Ireland, this textbook is designed to cover all major topics of international law from an Irish perspective.

Ireland’s relationship with international law is important both in terms of the nation’s past and its future. Irish independence and neutrality have been first and foremost defined by international law, while a thorough understanding of international humanitarian and human rights law has become essential knowledge for any serious student or practitioner.

This textbook — now in its second edition — provides an accessible and practical guide to all of these areas, as well as international procedure, maritime law, the use of force and state responsibility. With its up-to-date, comprehensive analysis of the most relevant Irish and international cases, it is ideal for self-study as well as the perfect companion for any course on international law taught in Ireland.

Biehler on International Law: An Irish Perspective is available in book stores across Ireland and at Roundhall.


In Defence of Democracy


Should Brexit or Trump cause us to doubt our faith in democracy? Are ‘the people’ too ignorant or stupid to rule? Numerous commentators are seriously arguing that the answer to these questions might be ‘yes’.

In this take-no-prisoners book, Canadian-Irish author Roslyn Fuller kicks these anti-democrats where it hurts the most – the facts. Fuller shows how many academics, journalists and politicians have embraced the idea that there can be ‘too much democracy’, and deftly unravels their attempts to end majority rule, whether through limiting the franchise, pursuing Chinese ‘meritocracy’ or confining participation to random legislation panels. She shows that Trump, Brexit or whatever other political event you may have disapproved of recently aren’t doing half the damage to democracy that elite self-righteousness and corruption are. In fact, argues Fuller, there are real reasons to be optimistic. Ancient methods can be combined with modern technology to revitalize democracy and allow the people to truly rule.

In Defence of Democracy is a witty and energetic contribution to the debate on the future of democracy.


In Defence of Democracy offers us a preview of what democracy is about to become: much more representative, more direct, more digital, more local and transnational. A winning concept described by this winning writer. Get it! Read it!”

Bruno Kaufmann

Democracy International

“In an era when, remarkably, the merits of democracy seem to be up for debate, it is invaluable to have so many of the arguments of the anti-democrats dispelled so comprehensively. If you’ve ever felt like you needed the arguments to defend the ability of the people to govern themselves, you’ll find what you need here.”

Robin McAlpine

Director of CommonWeal





Winter 2020

NGIBA 2020 Finalist HR JPG (1).jpg

Shortlisted for the Eric Hoffer Award Grand Prize 2021


Principles of Digital Democracy - Theories and Case Studies

Drawing on over a decade of research and experience, Principles of Digital Democracy presents a unique look at digital democracy tools in action. Whether it is carbon budgeting in Canada, voting on legislation in Italy, or policy consultation in Taiwan, this book outlines not just what is possible to achieve with digital democracy tools, but how to assess the life-cycle of civic engagement, as well as security and policy implementation.

Principles of Digital Democracy combines theory with practice, giving the reader an understanding of how ideation, deliberation and decision-making can be combined to empower citizens in a meaningful and sustainable manner. Through interviews with organizers and participants, the book provides further insight into who participates in digital democracy and why, how participation can be expanded, and which methods support or hinder a virtuous cycle of continuous participation.


"You can read Principles of Digital Democracy both as a contemporary history of democracy or as a flight manual. Regardless, I think Fuller’s book will become a modern classic in democracy theory."

Peer Norbäck, founder of Demoex (2000)

"Principles of Digital Democracy shows how technology is a source of hope and a powerful tool to be harnessed. The book provides powerful case studies of how tech is being used in different settings, not just to protect democracy, but to reimagine democracy as a rolling iterative collaborative process of active citizen engagement."

Máirin Murray, Impact Innovator and Co-Founder of Tech for Good Dublin

"In a field dominated by superficiality, Principles of Digital Democracy never fails to dig deeply into why we practice democracy the way we do. As comfortable with Rousseau and elections systems, as with mix-nets and blockchain, Fuller is the rare author who truly understands both tech and politics. Her insights are invaluable for anyone seeking to implement digital democracy today."

Adam Bennet, CEO, Red Piranha, Cybersecurity

Dublin: Ten Journeys, One Destination

Dublin: Ten Journeys, One Destination is a collection of short stories about Dublin by Irish authors as well as authors of other nationalities who have made Ireland their home. It aims to show the city of Dublin from many different views and how the same place can mean different things to different people. From the familiar to the fantastic (and the fantastically familiar) it is an eclectic mix of prose and passion, vision and vice, insight and intellect.

A founding member of the Irish Writers’ Exchange, Roslyn both edited the collection and provided a chapter from her forthcoming novel Cult.

In 2011, Dublin: Ten Journeys, One Destination won the MAMA Media and Multicultural Award for its contribution to both multiculturalism and literature in Ireland.

Dublin: Ten Journeys, One Destination has mostly sold out but some copies remain on Amazon.co.uk



Written while Roslyn was studying for her first bar exam in Germany, fiction novel ISAK is an allegory on the subject of international terrorism written as a sci-fi novel. The novel has mainly sold in Germany where it was originally published and a review is available here (German).

Today’s discussion about the causes and effects of terrorism – transferred to a world of the future. The encounter of two very different characters, one a terrorist, the other a bureaucrat – the one ruthless yet likeable, the other distant yet thoughtful. A fast-paced pursuit across the galaxy, which shall lead both to the boundaries of their convictions.


An impressionist journey through one of the most controversial issues of all time which leaves all questions open yet answers all of them.

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