CfP: “Revisiting the challenges of democratic inclusion in theory & practice” workshop

November 16-18, 2020 | University of Zurich, Switzerland
Co-hosted by the Doctoral Program Democracy Studies and DemocracyNet
Abstract Submission Deadline: September 25, 2020
The deadline to submit paper abstracts (max 300 words) for the workshop has been extended to September 25, 2020.
Call for Papers

Workshop description

Contemporary societies in today’s globalized world are shaped by ongoing disputes about how to draw boundaries of membership and who should have a claim to be included in a democratic polity. Especially cities, where now more than half of the world’s population lives, are developing new forms of inclusive governance and designing novel ways for political decision-making. In this light, it is vital to revisit and reflect about the challenges as well as opportunities of democratic inclusion in a comprehensive and holistic way. Therefore, the Doctoral Program Democracy Studies at the University of Zurich invites PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and advanced MA students for its workshop, which explores new perspectives of democratic inclusion not only in theory, but also in practice.

This workshop seeks to bring together renowned academic experts and practitioners from the field of democratic inclusion, with the intention to develop new critical understandings of the role of research in fostering democracy and re-addressing inclusion in the face of today’s challenges. In particular, the topics of concern are structured and formulated in relation to examining the context, the subject and the means of democratic inclusion as these provide a useful framework of examining the multi-faceted issues that underpin the concept of democratic inclusion. We welcome contributions providing conceptual, methodological and/or empirical work on the following topics (see also full Call for Papers):

  • Revisiting the boundaries of inclusion
  • Inclusive political governance
  • New frontiers of democratic innovations

These and other topcis will be focal points of interest for this workshop which aims at bringing together researchers from different disciplines (including, but not limited to, political science and political theory, law, philosophy, urban studies, and sociology) to engage in academic discussions about issues related to political inclusion. The aim of the workshop is to encourage junior researchers to present their (working) papers to take the opportunity to gain feedback from all participants as well as from advanced scholars. Furthermore, the workshop will also include sessions with presentations by practitioners from the field as well as a short field trip and a public round table to take the discussion further. The last day of the workshop is dedicated to synthesizing the sharing and discussion undertaken during the workshop and more importantly, to reflect on how to bridge between research and practice.

Confirmed speakers


Junior researchers interested in presenting their work are requested to submit an abstract of max. 300 words to Su Yun Woo, Palmo Brunner, or Masakazu Ogami by September 13, 2020. Submissions may include working papers or research project outlines. Selected participants will be notified by September 28.

The workshop will also be open to non-speaker participants at a later point in time. More information on how to register as such will be made available on this webpage.

Conditions of participation

Accepted participants will be required to send their paper by November 5, 2020. Graduate students presenting or attending the workshop can be granted 1 ECTS for their participation; conditions include attendance at the entire workshop, active participation as well as either a presentation or the provision of written feedback to two papers.

The workshop is free of charge. Travel and accommodation are at the expense of participants. For outstanding international participants, funding to cover some travel and accommodation expenses is available. Please let us know as soon as possible per e-mail if you wish to apply for such a travel and accommodation grant.

Funding by the Stiftung Mercator Schweiz is gratefully acknowledged.