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Department of Political Science Democracy Studies

About us

Doctoral training

The Doctoral Programme Democracy Studies is an interdisciplinary doctoral training programme at the University of Zurich that seeks to encourage diverse and multifaceted, qualitative and quantitative, approaches to the phenomenon of democracy and its manifestations.

Democracy Studies is placed under the aegis of the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Graduiertenschule - Philosophische Fakultät PhF) and allows PhD Candidates to specialize in the topic of democracy while conducting their doctoral research. 

Democracy Studies is open to graduate researchers with a strong interest in democracy research and coming from different disciplines in the Social Sciences, such as:

  • Political Science
  • Communication Science and Media Research
  • Sociology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Political Philosophy
  • Political Economy
  • Area Studies
  • Civic Education

Interested PhD Candidates registered at the Graduate School PhF can apply within their first year of doctorate, as per Democracy Studies application regulations. 


Doctoral training specialising on democracy research in Zurich was originally established in 2006 as a Swiss training centre for young scholars, leading to high-quality doctoral research and outstanding dissertations NCCR Democracy. In 2013, the training was institutionalised as a multidisciplinary doctoral programme at the University of Zurich, and it became part of the Graduate School PhF in 2019. Building on the strong tradition of rigorous, high-quality doctoral training on democracy, the new Doctoral Programme Democracy Studies benefits from the expertise of world-renowned faculty and the exceptional working conditions afforded by the University of Zurich.



Democracy Studies members regularly meet their peers for specialised modules and research colloquia,  fostering a strong sense of community and many occasions for exchange and mutual learning.

In addition, Democracy Studies boasts a thriving alumni network active in academia and beyond, further strengthening this sense of community. 

Democracy Studies Community