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Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe

 

THE EDGE PROGRAMME IS A STRATEGIC RESEARCH PROGRAMME OF THE VUB THAT AIMS AT EXPLORING CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES TO DEMOCRACY THROUGH THREE MAIN RESEARCH STREAMS:

 

TIME & SUSTAINABILITY - The challenge of sustainability across time raises important questions in relation to how the democratic quality and legitimacy of decision-making can be fostered long-term problems, such as sustainable development and climate change. In this context, attention will be paid to how this challenge intersects with other challenges to democratic governance in Europe and beyond (more info and publications).

GENDER & DIVERSITY - The central question refers to the challenge of democracy that comes from an increasingly diverse society. The focus is on the intersection of categories such as gender, ethnicity and culture, as well as others based on age, class, sexual orientation and physical ability to play out in politics and policy (more info and publications). 

CONTESTATION - Populism, radicalism on the left and on the right, Euroscepticism, or anti-establishment discourses are generally seen as indicators of discontent with democratic governance. There is, however, a need for a more suitable understanding of the many demands, attitudes, beliefs, evaluations, emotions and identities that are being voiced. We need to find ways to unpack democracy and its components (more info and publications).

 

The one thing that binds all of these research priorities together is the attention they bring to the way democracy operates. Democracy came in to being and was given shape in a context that is different from we are seeing today. The tensions sparked as a result and the alternative models and practices that are being established are at the heart of the EDGE research programme. 

EDGE examines these developments and the pertaining quest for new forms and meanings of political decision-making and participation in European democracy. It brings together researchers from several academic fields and disciplines such as European studies, gender studies, political science, and philosophy.

 
The programme is run in close collaboration between the Political Science Department of the VUB, the Institute for European Studies (IES) and the Center of Expertise for Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality (RHEA)

 

Contact Details:
edge@vub.be 

 

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