Democracy in Europe and the Mobilization of Society (DEMOS)


Taking into account the increasing demands of institutional reforms – especially on the EU level – approaches towards a participatory democracy stemming from the global justice movement will be observed in six European countries (UK, ES, FR, CH, DE, IT) and on the transnational level. Object of research is the movements’ criticism of existing democracy and the counter model of a „globalization from below“. At the same time social movements’ capacity to deploy participatory models in their processes of self organization will be analyzed. Thus the project aims at contributing to the knowledge about viable realizations of deliberative democracy. Structural prerequisites to effective models of deliberation shall be disclosed by transnational comparison.

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Project objectives

The project aims at reconstructing movement’s criticism of existing democratic practises and its normative basis. That raises the question, how far these demands for participation are considered in terms of self organization, for instance in group meetings and social fora. Special concern is attended to the impact of new media and how they are used to spread information, debate internally and facilitate organizational processes.


Qualitative and quantitative content analysis of websites and position papers of groups mobilizing for counter summits or social fora, subsequently, interviews with activists and group discussions in focus groups, as well as participant observation in group meetings and social fora.

Preliminary Results