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Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century

The National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Democracy is a multi-disciplinary research program launched by the Swiss National Science Foundation in 2005. The program examines the key challenges to democracy today and traces them to two major trends: globalization and the growing influence of the media on politics.

The NCCR’s basic research questions are: How are established democracies changing under the conditions of globalization and the mediatization of politics? And how can democracy be promoted horizontally (to non-democratic countries) and vertically (to supra-national regimes like the EU, the WTO, etc)? More

News & Events

Power and progress: Geopolitics and the future of democracy under President Trump
Watch full video of public talk by Dr. Robert Kagan (Washington Post/Brookings Institution) on 22 February 2017 at the University of Zurich. Read More... More
Swiss Summer School on „Democratization in a Globalized and Mediatized World”
On 26-30 June 2017, the fourth NCCR Summer School in Democracy Studies will be held at the University of St. Gallen. Doctoral students from political science, political philosophy, media and communication science, sociology, economics and related disciplines are encouraged to apply by 1 March 2017. Read More... More
Globalization, Mediatization and Populism: Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century
Public event series to celebrate the conclusion of the research program NCCR Democracy. February to June 2017 at the University of Zurich, main building, Rämistr. 71. Read More... More
Populism and democracy
Panel discussion "Die Anziehungskraft des Populismus" (The appeal of populism). Journalists Judith Huber (SRF "Echo der Zeit"), Christof Moser (Schweiz am Sonntag) and Peter Rásony (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) discuss the research findings on populism with NCCR Democracy researchers. Read More... More
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