Our aims

Our research seeks to analyse and understand current challenges to, and opportunities for, the cultivation of diverse forms of democratic engagement, participation and activism at local, national and global levels.

Amidst a moment of heightened nervousness and unease about the state of democratic politics, the Centre aims to bring rigour, interdisciplinarity and methodological pluralism to the study of the past, present and future of democratic politics. This includes charting the numerous threats and challenges that face democracy as a form of government, as well as emerging horizons of democratic renewal.

Rather than stopping at apocalyptic diagnoses of where democracy is going, the Centre examines how threats and challenges to democratic life exist alongside, and may even promote, democratic innovation and re-engagement. While researchers at the Centre study and comment on current democratic challenges such as growing political polarisation, incivility, populism and disinformation, we are also interested in potential opportunities and solutions, including new forms of citizen engagement, democratic reform of political parties, and innovative tools for online citizen engagement.

In short, the Centre hosts and facilitates research that analyses and interprets the complex and contradictory developments that currently shape the terrain of democratic politics.