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Project Description: Monitoring Democracy

Democracy is facing major challenges both in Germany and on the international level. Key institutions of democracy in Germany, such as elections and parliaments, are losing legitimacy. The level of resistance to international organizations, such as the UN and the World Bank, is high. At the same time, many problems cannot longer be solved at the nation-state level, and more and more decisions are being made at the international level in terms of both scope and importance. 

We aim to identify the aspects of democracy in Germany and in international organizations that need to be adapted, and thereby the means by which their legitimacy can be strengthened.

We need democracy and its legitimacy not only on the national level, but also on the EU level and in international organizations. However, the level of confidence that citizens have in our democracy, along with it institutions and their processes, is low. What are the reasons behind these deficits in terms of democratic legitimacy? Which levers can be identified to foster democratic legitimacy? What expectations do citizens have? We are searching for answers to these and related questions.

While nation-states see their scope for action diminishing, the EU and international organizations are gaining in importance when it comes to solving key problems, such as climate change and issues related to global migration and security policies. However, citizens have a lack of say and legitimation in democratic processes. At the same time, though, democracy depends for its very existence on how much citizens accept and trust it. Thus, if a democracy is to survive, it must be diverse and international.  We would like to contribute to stabilizing and restoring democratic legitimacy in Germany as well as to reaching a better understanding of international organizations as a source of democratic legitimacy. To do so, we would like to hold discussions with both citizens and experts. After all, if democracy and all its fundamental institutions are to be able to act and solve problems in the future, they will have to have legitimacy.