The Department for European Policy and Democracy Studies (DED) deals with current issues in European policy and the study of democracy from a political science and sociological perspective.

The team members are concerned with researching the complex interplay of political institutions and actors in the EU multi-level system, as well as analyzing the implications of this system on European societies. The department’s research generates knowledge and expertise that supports processes of democracy development and the transformation of political systems in the European context.

Through well-founded empirical research the department provides political actors information, data and scenarios for decision-making and impulses for dealing with current challenges in Europe. Innovative methods, both qualitative and quantitative, comparative and transdisciplinary approaches as well as the dialogue with societal and political stakeholders are central cornerstones of the department’s working methods.

Currently the department works on and contributes with its expertise to the following social and political research problems:

  • What is the contribution of regions or the sub-national level in the EU multi-level system and how do they want to participate in shaping the EU in the future?
  • How do the normative foundations of the EU develop in times of crisis? What can be learned in relation to possible ways of dealing with current challenges, transformation processes and crises as well as the configuration and organization of society?
  • What are the potentials of vertical and horizontal Europeanization in the process of European integration? What is the citizens’ perspective on current developments in the EU?
  • How do present divisions and polarizations affect the social and political system of the European Union? How can the political participation across generations and social groups be strengthened as well as effectively developed?
  • How can the democratic participation of socially marginalized groups be strengthened in the European context? What are the benefits of this kind of participatory processes for the experience and co-production of European identities?
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