CISRUL is home to a vibrant, interdisciplinary research community. Our seminar conversations are unique in bridging social science and humanities perspectives. PhD students as well as faculty members from various schools and disciplines participate in lively discussions on topics ranging from citizenship and sovereignty to the uncanny and postmodernity.

Reading democracy

As part of the on-going research project Political Concepts in the World (POLITICO) CISRUL will dedicate four seminars on the topic of democracy. Each session will be based on two texts proposed by different CISRUL members.

Democracy is indispensable to studying politics. It has become a norm in the double sense of the term. First, as a description of the majority of contemporary political systems so that for roughly 60% of the world population it is now normal to live in a democratic system. Second, as a prescription of what political systems should ought to look like.

What do we mean when we use democracy in our research? Do we use it as a description or prescription? Why is it necessary to separate one from the other?

During four sessions we will read and discuss eight texts related to democracy. Each text will be suggested and introduced by a different faculty member or PhD student bringing different academic disciplines into the conversation. Two questions will guide the selection and discussion: Which text is fundamental to my understanding of democracy? How do I justify or define democracy in my work? The question are not necessarily linked. Neither should they be seen as a limitation but rather an inspiration.