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Rudolf Agricola School for Sustainable Development
Bringing sustainability science forward


Democracies are not to be taken for granted and are in constant evolution. They gain strength, but also face threats at the local, national, and international levels. For instance, the past couple of decades saw the emergence of political parties and movements that openly challenge key principles of liberal democracy and threaten the rule of law. In addition, governments experience difficulties in implementing policies and look for a balance between collective decisions and local participation.

These developments result in a strained relationship between elected representatives, the state, and citizens, leading to increasing levels of public distrust. This presents a challenge to good governance at all levels.

The Democracy & Governance research theme is a network of interdisciplinary experts working on these issues. The theme covers topics such as deliberative democracy, transparency and accountability in public governance, populism and extremism, and transnational cooperation, to address global risks and challenges. Our members’ expertise covers all levels of governance–from local to international–and links among them.

Research groups 

Democracy and Governance operates on a bottom-up approach, with research groups focusing on specific matters that fall under the umbrella of the theme. You'll find our research groups in the menu on the left.

Research groups coordinators are ex officio members of the Democracy and Governance steering committee, chaired by the theme director Dr Piero Tortola.

Get involved!

If you are interested in the activities of the Democracy and Governance research theme, or want to contribute by establishing a new research group or otherwise, do not hesitate to contact the theme director Piero Tortola at p.d.tortola .

Last modified:02 July 2024 3.23 p.m.
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