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 of trust in democratic regimes. Paradoxically, citizens today are freer than ever before, but they have lost the feeling that their vote really matters. Surveys indicate that enthusiasm for democracy has declined in most Western societies and that this decline is particularly visible among the younger generations.
Globalization and European integration, 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 have sharpened tensions between national democracies and the global market, and between the principles of democratic majoritarianism and those of liberal constitutional-ism. 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.