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Institutional Innovation and Participatory Democracy

This research area integrates various strands of the Institute's comparative studies in reconsidering the theoretical and empirical framework of federalism, democracy and governance, and their interplay. It pays close attention to issues such as how decisions are and can more effectively and democratically be taken in an interconnected world. Because today, the challenge is less how to divide the spheres of government but rather how to better connect them, by, at the same time, involving actors that have previously been excluded in traditional decision-making procedures.

Firstly, research projects investigate to what extent increasing trends, practices and methods of citizens' and stakeholders participation complement traditional decision-making processes. Secondly, they investigate to what extent the institutionalization of such instruments and models are and can be a means to govern better. Depending on the project, we work with partners at local, euro-regional, national and international level. In sum, the projects of the research area Institutional Innovation and Participatory Democracy in Multilevel Systems:

  • contribute to the re-consideration of the theoretical framework of federalism, democracy and governance, and their interplay;
  • empirically analyze procedures of cooperation and coordination in decision-making processes among governmental levels, and between governmental levels and the different institutional and societal actors;
  • advance the research on subnational institutional innovation and participatory democracy; 

For more details about specific projects in this research area, please consult the following links:

Contact: Elisabeth Alber

Drususallee 1/Viale Druso 1
Tel. +39 0471 055 200
Fax. +39 0471 055 299
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