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2017 St. Gallen

Democratization in a globalized and mediatized world

26 - 30 June 2017, St. Gallen


The 4th Swiss Summer School Democracy Studies which focussed on chances and risks for democracy and democratization in an increasingly interconnected world, took place in June 2017 at the University of St. Gallen. It introduced the participants to a wide repertoire of concepts, theories, and methodological strategies in one of the thorniest territories in social sciences – how political systems become, and remain, democratically governed, and how democratic institutions become, and remain, socially embedded.

A mixture of lectures, mini group-work and intensive discussions of the participants' dissertation projects characterized the 2017 Summer School. The program involved five one-day sessions which focused on a particular theme related to the wider topic of Democratization:

  • Global democratic governance (H. Stevenson, U of Sheffield / K. Dingwerth, U of St. Gallen)
  • Democratic diffusion (J.A. Elkink, U College Dublin / O. Westerwinter, U of St. Gallen)
  • Social movements in complex media ecologies (A. Robertson, U of Stockholm / Y. Welp, U of St. Gallen)
  • Democratic socialization and attitude change (C. Welzel, Leuphana U Lüneburg / T. Freyburg, U of St. Gallen)
  • Development assistance and natural resource revenues (S. Dietrich, U of Essex / R. Hodler, U of St. Gallen)


Twenty doctoral students were admitted to join the event, of which 18 from 12 countries (AUT, ARG, CH, ECU, ETH, GEO, GER, IND, ITA, TUR, UKR, USA)
took the opportunity.

An online survey was conducted to evaluate the Summer School. All answers to this survey were anonymized. The results of this poll are presented here in detail.

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