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Overview of research projects

The NCCR Democracy examines the key challenges to democracy today and traces them to two major trends: globalization and the growing influence of the media on politics. These trends pose significant challenges to the ways in which established democracies have traditionally operated. At the same time, they provide new opportunities for both new and established democracies to adapt to changing conditions.

In the first two research phases (2005-2013), the NCCR Democracy studied these challenges in five modules: The first module addressed the opportunities for and limits to the spread of democracy, while the second module concentrated on the challenges to political decision-making in consolidated democracies. Modules 3 and 4 investigated the process of the “mediatization of politics” and its implications for the political process. The fifth module dealt with the questions of how to measure and how to enhance the quality of democracy.

In its final research phase (2013-2017), the NCCR Democracy pursues two research themes which build on its previous work and which constitute very hot topics in democracy research today: democratic governance beyond the state, namely on the international, transnational, regional, and local levels (Module 1), and populism in the era of globalization and mediatization (Module 2). In addition to these two modules, the Democracy Barometer project will continue to measure and assess how democratic established democracies are.

Research Phase I (2005-2009):

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