SC6: Governance for the future: Democratic crisis? Resolving socio-economic and political challenges to reinvigorate democracies


CSA Coordination and support action

Almost three decades after the End of History essay and debates democracy faces significant challenges. Political developments have been marked by the rise of political forces and discourses promoting populism and nationalism and questioning liberalism. These are often couched in a language of anti-elitism and anti-cosmopolitanism as they seek to profit from citizens’ frustration at their socio-economic situation and political shortcomings of democracies. Social, cultural, economic, technological and political challenges related to the legitimacy, accountability, transparency, levels of engagement and effectiveness of democracies need to be addressed normatively and empirically with a view to averting a fundamental crisis in democratic standards.

The coordination and support action should bring together the relevant research community with representatives of civil society, as well as socio-economic and policy stakeholders (at European, national and sub-national levels). Proposals should adopt a holistic approach and ensure broad geographic coverage. The network should consider the altering capacity of parties, parliaments and executives to represent citizens. At the same time, it should address changes in voting behaviour such as growing abstention, increasing volatility and preference for extreme political discourses and their potential to sap the foundations of democracy. The role of referenda, also in relation to traditional and social media, should be part of the reflection. Moreover, the network should deliberate to what extent higher levels of distrust towards elected bodies and institutions and the political class could be signalling a more deep rooted shift towards a popular preference for outcomes over political participation and rights. Consideration should be given to political processes that may lead to a weakening of the institutions and laws that guarantee checks and balances, civil liberties, human rights and the rule of law. Different democratic traditions and pathways and how they affect policy responses should also be examined. A historical perspective should be adopted in tracing the political and sociological roots of current populist movements and parties.

For more information, please note the Participant Portal Website below.

Deadline for application is March 14th 2019, at 5 p.m. (Brussels time).

Donnerstag, 14. März 2019

We would be happy to assist you with your application. Please contact the Officer for EU-Research Affairs Dr. Geny Piotti (