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: Democracy in Germany

Democracy requires constant adjustment to new challenges and continuous change. The project module "Democracy in Germany" subjects our democracy to a systematic analysis of its strengths and weaknesses in order to identify the aspects that are most urgently in need of adjustment and reform.

Democracy needs continuous further development based on the challenges it faces. How is the enormous increase in citizens' participation affecting representative democracy? Why are certain groups of the population voting less and less often? What is populism, and how populist are Germans? We are searching for answers to these and related questions.

In recent decades, our society has become more global, individualized, digital and diverse. Our democracy has not yet sufficiently adjusted to these changes. At present, it shows a lack of possibilities in terms of its design as well as reduced problem-solving abilities. As a result, there has been a sharp decline in the citizens' level of trust and acceptance for democratic institutions. At the same time, these declines are being exacerbated by the growing social divide as well as by a lack of capacity for reform and further development on the part of democratic institutions. This has fostered the rise of populist movements and the emergence of a new cleavage in the democracy between those who are skeptical toward modernization and those who support it.

This project module aims to identify areas in which Germany's democracy is in urgent need of reform and adjustment. To do so, a Democracy Monitor will be set up for the first time to prepare a differentiated profile of the strengths and weaknesses of Germany's democracy. On issues such as elections, governments, political parties and civil rights, the Democracy Monitor will provide a comprehensive analysis of the status quo as well as identify appropriate possible solutions. In terms of methodology, the Democracy Monitor will be based on an innovative approach that combines the expertise of scholars with the assessments of citizens. An initial publication is planned for the spring of 2019.


In addition, the subproject conducts regular analyses of elections and uses the Populism Barometer to capture populist attitudes among the German population. The project module will also focus on issues such as voting rights and the implementation of coalition promises.

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