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Department of Political Science

Swiss Summer School in Democracy Studies - S3DS

About S3DS

Open to all qualified graduate students and postdocs from Zurich and beyond, the Summer School in Democracy Studies is a yearly event that brings together since 2014 internationally renowned researchers and junior scholars for a week of lectures and intensive discussions. After lectures programmed in the mornings, the afternoons are dedicated to student presentations, and the experts serve as the discussants.

The Summer School is an ideal setting for doctoral students, advanced master students and postdocs in the social sciences and in related disciplines who would like to:

  • gain theoretical, empirical, and methodological know-how on democratic innovations in various contexts;
  • receive feedback on their own work from both experts and peers in their field of research;
  • and meet and exchange with international experts and peers working on similar topics.

The Swiss summer School in Democracy Studies gives young scholars in the social sciences, including political science, political philosophy, media and communication science, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, economics, and related disciplines the unique opportunity to discuss their research projects with renowned experts in their field in an accessible and collegial environment and to establish valuable contacts for their academic future.

S3DS Objectives

The major objective of the Swiss Summer School in Democracy Studies is to enable young scholars to understand the complex challenges democracy faces today.

For this purpose, the Summer School:

  • annually offers a one-week intensive highlevel, multidisciplinary training in democracy research;
  • focusses on different themes which cover a wide range of approaches, theories and methods in current democracy research;
  • provides a unique opportunity for doctoral students, advanced master students and postdocs in the social sciences and related disciplines  to present their research projects to renowned experts in their field and to receive high-quality feedback;
  • organizes various social activities to deepen the newly established contacts which are of value for the young scholars' future academic careers;
  • delivers 2 ECTS credits for participation in the full academic programme.

S3DS Organization

Each year a different partner institution of the Swiss PhD-Network Democracy Studies takes the lead for the organization of the Summer School.

The Summer School is administered by the Doctoral Programme Democracy Studies at the University of Zurich.


Weiterführende Informationen


Swiss Summer School in Democracy Studies

Contact S3DS

For any enquiries, write to


University of Zurich
Department of Political Science
Affolternstrasse 56
CH-8050 Zurich

The Swiss Summer School in Democracy Studies is sponsored by the Mercator Foundation Switzerland.