Democracy in Question

What was true about monarchy more than a century ago is now true about democracy: in most places of the world it is perceived as the natural form of government.

But the global spread of democracy coincides with a profound crisis in the trust in democratic regimes. Paradoxically, today citizens are freer than ever before, but have lost the feeling that their vote really matters. Surveys indicate that enthusiasm for democracy has declined in most Western societies and that the decline is particularly visible among the younger generations.

Globalisation, combined with new opportunities opened up by the digital revolution, have led to a radical questioning of the legitimacy of the institutions of representative democracy, and sharpened tensions between national democracies and the global market, and between the principles of democratic majoritarianism and those of liberal constitutionalism. What then is the future of democracy? This research focus offers an intellectual, interdisciplinary platform to study and discuss some of these fundamental questions which democratic societies face today.

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