At a time when there are signs that democracy and its principles, such as universal political equality, the rule of law, the separation of powers, the protection of minorities and participation, are threatening to lose their attraction, society faces the challenge of renegotiating the meaning of these terms. The Bavarian research association "Zukunft der Demokratie" (ForDemocracy) therefore poses some fundamental questions: how can we modify participation and decision-making processes, and potentially our ideas about democracy itself, so that we are in a position to respond appropriately to 21st century problems and accept democracy as a model of political organization without having to relinquish the vision of recognising everyone as free and equal regardless of their objective differences? What distinguishes democracy from other systems and how can we organise democratic processes to enable citizens' active participation? What role can and should science play in this process?
ForDemocracy is conducting research around this topic in the context of eleven sub-projects in the humanities and social sciences involving eight Bavarian universities: University of Bamberg, University of Applied Sciences Landshut, University of Applied Sciences Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians- Universität München, the Bavarian School of Public Policy at the TU München, Passau University, Regensburg University of Applied Sciences and the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU).
The Association's spokespeople are Professor Isabel Feichtner (Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg) and Professor Gerald Beck (University of Applied Sciences Munich).