Innovative Research on Democracy and Governance (Horizon Europe)
Democracies are more fragile and more vulnerable than in the past: democracies across the globe are in crisis and the level of trust in the political institutions of democracy is declining. In terms of legitimacy, there are signs of a potential shift from governance based on expertise, multilateralism and consensual policymaking towards majoritarianism, unilateralism, nationalism, populism and polarization. Research on the past and present challenges and tensions in democracy can help to better understand and strengthen democracy, its resilience and stability. It will foster democracy’s further development with a view to enhancing representation, participation, openness, pluralism, tolerance, the effectiveness of public policy, non-discrimination, civic engagement, the protection of fundamental rights and the rule of law.
What is the goal to be achieved?
Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to the reinvigoration of democratic governance by improving the accountability, transparency, effectiveness and trustworthiness of rule-of-law based institutions and policies and through the expansion of active and inclusive citizenship empowered by the safeguarding of fundamental rights.
How can research and innovation contribute to achieving this goal?
The implementation of the research activities of the destination will assist in the re-invigoration and modernisation of democratic governance. The aim is to develop evidence-based innovations, policies and policy recommendations, as well as institutional frameworks that expand political participation, social dialogue, civic engagement, gender equality and inclusiveness. Activities will also contribute to enhancing the transparency, effectiveness, accountability and legitimacy of public policy-making. They will help improving trust in democratic institutions, safeguarding liberties and the rule of law and protecting democracy from multidimensional threats. Rich historical, cultural and philosophical perspectives, including a comparative dimension, will set the frame for soundly understanding present developments and help to map future pathways. In the medium to long term, the knowledge, data, scientifically robust recommendations and innovations generated will enhance decision making on all aspects relevant to democratic governance. As the Destination aims directly at citizen engagement and at producing lasting change, it is of particular importance that the research and innovation actions promote the highest standards of transparency and openness. When applicable, it is encouraged to open up the process, criteria, methodologies and data to civil society in the course of the research.
Call Topics for 2022
- Artificial intelligence, big data and democracy
- The future of democracy and civic participation
- The impact of inequalities on democracy
- Education for democracy
- Evolution of political extremism and its influence on contemporary social and political dialogue
- Media for democracy – democratic media
- Politics and the impact of online social networks and new media
- Representative democracy in flux
- Global governance for a world in transition: Norms, institutions, actors