Democracy in the 21st Century

Democracy in the 21st Century

Democracy worldwide is in a volatile situation: the quality of democracy is declining, societies are confronted with a surge in polarisation and populism, and the increase of inequality poses a major threat to the foundation of democracies. At the same time, the potential for democratic reform is higher than ever, opening up new possibilities for democratisation and democratic deepening.

This focus area gathers teams from across CIVICA to address the challenges and promises of democracies today from multiple disciplinary perspectives. 

Key topics

  • Democratic backsliding
  • Reform of democracy; democratic innovation
  • Polarisation
  • Social embeddedness of democracy (inequality)

Meet the thematic group

  • Zsolt Enyedi (theme leader)
  • Catherine De Vries
  • Elias Dinas
  • Mark Kayser
  • Alina Dragolea
  • Romain Lachat

Zsolt Enyedi is Professor of Political Science at Central European University.

Catherine De Vries is Full Professor in the Department of Social and Political Sciences at Bocconi University.

Elias Dinas holds the joint SPS/RSC Swiss Chair in Federalism, Democracy and International Governance at the European University Institute.

Mark Kayser is Professor of Applied Methods and Comparative Politics and Acting Dean of Faculty and Research at the Hertie School.

Alina Dragolea is lecturer in the Faculty of Political Science at the National University for Political Science and Public Administration.

Romain Lachat is Associate Professor of Political Science at CEVIPOF-Sciences Po.

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About the CIVICA focus areas

As a European University of social sciences, we strive to find solutions to complex societal challenges. We chose four focus areas that reflect both pressing contemporary issues and our joint expertise. Each focus area brings together multidisciplinary teams from our alliance, and links research, education and innovation for the benefit of society.

Discover our other focus areas