2021 Zurich

Frontiers of Democratic Innovations is the topic of the 7th Swiss Summer School Democracy Studies, which was initially planned for 2020. Due to Corona crisis it has now been rescheduled for 2021 and will take place at the University of Zurich from June 21 to 25, 2021. It is organized by the Doctoral Program Democracy Studies and the Department of Political Science.

Democratic innovations, i.e. institutions and practices that increase and deepen citizen participation in political decision-making, are proliferating across the world. Examples include mini-publics, e-democracy and digital participation, direct democracy, or participatory budgeting. Scientific interest for democratic innovations is prolific.

The Summer School is an ideal setting for doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and advanced MA students in social sciences, such as political science, media and communication science, political theory, sociology 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.

This Summer School offers an intense program on democratic innovations, focusing on hot topics and open questions in this field. Leading experts will teach lectures on the contribution of democratic innovation to human development, democracy in the digital public sphere, innovations in direct democracy, the contestable relationship between deliberation and democracy, as well as participatory budgeting in semi-democratic and authoritarian contexts.

Participants of the Summer School will have the opportunity to present their own work on this matter, and receive substantive and helpful feedback from the experts.

Finally, there will be exciting social events, possibilities for one-on-one discussions and networking, the chance to explore one of Switzerland’s most beautiful cities, and many more. Participants also receive a certificate.