Transfer activities

DemocracyNet members have organized a number of activities with the aim of engaging with other research groups or of contributing to ongoing projects and public debates on democracy, its demands, its limits, and its potential for innovation.


  • Abstimm-Bar series in Karl der Grosse in Zurich
    • April 27: Abstimm-Bar on the “Frontex-Referendum” (details here)
    • September 7: Abstimm-Bar on the “AHV-Reform” Referendum (details here)
  • Public lecture on December 9: “Accountable Public Institutions,” by Emanuela Ceva (University of Geneva) (recording here)
  • One Year with Covid-19: Free e-book edited by Christian Ewert and Lea Heyne and gathering 26 short essays from democracy researchers on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on democracy. The e-book is accessible here.
  • Abstimm-Bar series in Karl der Grosse in Zurich
  • Public lecture: “Recursive Representation in the Shadow of Populism,” by Jane Mansbridge (Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University)
    The lecture took place at the University of Zurich on September 9, 2019. It was organized thanks to the generous support of the Graduate Campus of the University of Zurich through a Short GRC grant and with the help of the Chair of Political Philosophy of the University of Zurich. We thank the peer-group “poliTics” for offering coffee and croissants to the audience.
    Video of the lecture here!
  • Abstimm-Bar series in Karl der Grosse in Zurich
  • Wähl-Bar in Karl der Grosse in Zurich
    2019 was national election year in Switzerland! A week before election day, DemocracyNet participated in an afternoon of events to learn about the voting process – how should I select candidates? How many candidates should I select? How to rank them to reflect my preferences with our PR system?
    The event, open to all, took place on October 12, 2019.
  • The participative festival ICI-La Dérivée invited DemocracyNet to organize three ‘politics’ events during the Summer 2017 in their space in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland. Members of organized a “Chasse au trésor” (scavenger hunt) on democracy on July 21, a participative discussion about the future of the city on July 22, and an “Apéro Votations” (Popular vote apéro) on September 3 to provide all people interested with an opportunity to get information and debate about two issues put to the popular vote in the end of the month.
  • DemocracyNet supported the Congress “Reclaim Democracy,” which took place at the University of Basel on February 2-4, 2017, and one of our managing board members, Lukas Peter, organized a workshop for the Congress: “Democracy and the Commons.” About 40 participants joined the discussion that revolved around four main topics: (1) a general definition of the commons, (2) the tragedy of the (unmanaged) commons as propagated by Garret Hardin, (3) overcoming the tragedy with Elinor Ostrom’s eight design principles, (4) the enclosures of the commons – yesterday and today.
  • DemocracyNet collaborated in the organization of the workshop and public event “The Law of the Commons,” which took place on November 24, 2016 at the University of Zurich. Prof. Ugo Mattei (International University College Turin, and University of California) gave feedback to the participants. After the workshop, Mattei gave a public lecture on the topic “The Ecology of Law”. His very passionate lecture on the historical or “ecological” development in legal theory and the necessity to develop a legal system that cultivates commons lead to a very lively debate.
  • The public debate “Elfenbeintrum oder Arena: Wissenschaft in der Demokratie” closed the 2015-206 events series “Democracy: Bridging Facts and Norms” on October 20, 2016, at the University of Zurich. University Professors (Svenja Goltermann and Thomas Widmer) and public intellectuals (Katja Gentinetta and Michael Hermann) discussed the role of (social) scientists and philosophers in our contemporary democratic societies and in Switzerland in a lively discussion moderated by the journalist Peer Teuwsen.
  • The third event of the series “Democracy: Bridging Facts and Norms” featured a lecture and discussion with the German philosopher Alex Demirovic on “Democracy and Capitalism – Or Economic Democracy?“. The event took place at the University of Zurich on June 9, 2016. The economist Andreas Scherer challenged the views of Demirovic, and the discussion was moderated by the philosopher Vanessa Rampton.
  • DemocracyNet organized a public lecture by the political philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on “Justice, Democracy, and the Unconditional Basic Income” at the University of Zurich, the second event of the series “Democracy: Bridging Facts and Norms,” on February 18, 2016. Thanks to the collaboration with Institut Zukunft, the lecture was followed by a discussion of the arguments for and against the adoption of the unconditional basic income between Philippe Van Parijs and the economist Reiner Eichenberger (Uni Fribourg), moderated by the economic journalist Philipp Löpfe – before the popular vote on the topic in Switzerland on June 5, 2016.
  • DemocracyNet collaborates again with the institut franco-allemand (dfi) for the forum “It’s our Europe!, in which participants of the forum discuss their ideas regarding institutional participation mechanisms in Europe.
  • DemocracyNet collaborates with the institut franco-allemand (dfi) for the forumIt’s our Europe!”, running a chat session, in which participants of the forum discussed their ideas regarding institutional participation mechanisms in Europe with researchers.
  • Opening event of the UZH Graduate Campus 2012-2013 event series: Scientific talk at the University of Zurich “How much Participation does Democracy require?” Speaker: Prof. Dr. Hanspeter Kriesi (26th October 2012).
  • DemocracyNet takes part in a symposium focusing on “Creative participation” in October 2012. The event is held at the educational institution Haus am Maiberg in Germany and primarily addresses representatives of the education sector.



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