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About the Hot Spot

The Hot Spot of Sustainable Democracy seeks to bring together scholars from different disciplines working on democracy across Radboud University. In a world with intense contestation about the meaning and value of democracy, and questions about democracies’ capacity to deal with the urgent challenges facing societies today, research on challenges to democracy and the future of democracy could not be more relevant. The Hotspot is therefore structured around three questions:

What is democracy? What should it be? Different visions and repertoires of democracy

This question addresses normative challenges to democracy: Why would democracy be desirable? What different visions on democracy exist, new and old, what contestations and contradictions are visible, what new repertoires of democracy are being developed by citizens - often at the local level - around the world?

What are the empirical challenges to democracy and what is their impact?

This question addresses empirical challenges to democracy: How do challenges such as increasing inequality, diversity, climate change, new technologies and digitalisation, and crises affect the quality and functioning of democracy? How do these challenges impact democratic values and behavior, and what are the consequences for strengthening or undermining democracy?

How can we renew and re-invent practices, processes and institutions of democracy?

What new democratic practices, processes and repertoires of democracy are being developed in neighborhoods, schools, companies, and other parts of societies, and can such innovations be spread and scaled up? What other innovations could work to make democracy sustainable?

Monthly seminars

  • Thursday 15 september 12.00 – 14.00
  • Wednesday 12 october 12.00 – 14.00
  • Tuesday 8 november 12.00 – 14.00
  • Thursday 8 december
  • More information will follow soon!

Radboud Annual Democracy lecture

  • More information will follow soon!