DemocracyNet supports a variety of projects and activities that relate to democracy studies and corresponds to the two guiding aims of the association:

  • Research: foster interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration on projects among researchers in democracy studies
  • Transfer: make academic debates on democracy accessible to a wider, non-academic audience

Our members have successfully launched a number of projects, about which you can learn on this webpage. Among other things, we have organized…

… Academic workshops

DemocracyNet hosts regular workshops for junior researchers (PhDs and Postdocs) since 2012. The aim of these academic events is for junior researchers to benefit from interdisciplinary exchange, obtain feedback from other researchers, and have an opportunity to develop new collaborations for their projects.

Thanks to a collaboration with the Doctoral Program Democracy Studies of the University of Zurich since 2017, DemocracyNet organizes a yearly Research Workshop at the University of Zurich.

Find information about and reports of our past workshops here.
Our Calls for Paper are advertised here and through our social media channels.

… Public lectures

DemocracyNet members have organized a number of public lectures and roundtables on various topics related to democracy, with the aims of contribute to public debates on current political issue and of making academic debates more accessible to a wider audience.

Some of these events have benefitted from fruitful collaborations with civil society organizations.

Find information about the past DemocracyNet public lectures here.

… Abstimm-Bars

The Abstimm-Bar is an original transfer format that aims at providing a space to gain information and debate about issues put to the popular vote in Switzerland. The issues discussed vary depending on what popular initiatives, mandatory referendums, or facultative referendums are voted on; the format stays the same.
In a first step, participants can learn about the specific proposal put to the vote and about the arguments for and against it. No previous knowledge is required; it is meant as an inclusive and respectful space for gaining information. In a second step, participants are invited to discuss about the proposals and the reasons to accept of reject them among themselves, in smaller groups.

The Abstimm-Bar format was first developed by Alice el-Wakil and Vasco Gamboni as Apéro Votations in Yverdon-les-Bains. You can learn more about the origin of the project here. It has been taking place in Zurich before every popular vote since the beginning of 2018 thanks to the voluntary work of a number of DemocracyNet members.

Find information about our upcoming and past Abstimm-Bars here.

… Podcast

DemocracyNet launched a podcast series in 2016, in the framework of the events series “Democracy: Bridging Facts and Norms.” It gathers the perspectives of advanced scholars in democracy studies on questions about how to brige (normative) political theory and empirical political science. For instance, what should the relation between political theory and empirical political science research on democracy be like? Should we ‘compromise’ on ideals when we assess the quality of real-existing democracies? What role, if any, should democracy scholars play in public discussions, and what are their responsibilities?

The entire podcast feed is available here.
Find the DemocracyNet podcast on iTunes here.

… Events series

Our members have organized two year-long events series at the University of Zurich, thanks to the support of Graduate Campus Grants:

These series make it possible to explore a specific set of issues in a number of public events and research workshops.

All these activities have been funded externally, thanks to the support of our various partners. Our members have organized them on a voluntary basis.

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