DPDS was established in 2006 as a Swiss training center for young scholars in democracy research which enables doctoral students to obtain doctoral degrees of such a quality that they can place themselves at the forefront of their disciplines. In 2013, DPDS was institutionalized as a multidisciplinary doctoral program at the University of Zurich. Since 2019 it has been part of the Graduate School PhF.
The academic program of DPDS contains modules which expand doctoral students' general knowledge of normative and empirical democracy theories and their particular knowledge about the impact of globalization, democratization and mediatization on politics and society. Additional training measures are targeted to doctoral students' individual research needs and desires. Basic information about the doctorate.
Participants of DPDS write their doctoral thesis - which can take the form of a monograph or a cumulative thesis - in an environment of internationally renowned scholars. This opens up new perspectives with regard to obtaining post-doc or professor positions soon after having completed the PhD (alumni).
To maintain and further develop its unique character, DPDS successfully applied for third-party funding including Mercator Foundation Switzerland(2018-2023), swissuniversities PhD Programmes TP 2 (2017-2020), SUC Doctoral Programs (2013-2020) and ProDoc (2009-2013).