The new planetary challenges of our time are multi-facetted and highly complex. Driven by a plurality of agents, they link the local and the global dimensions and engage with past, present and future narratives. Spanning complex interactions across space and time, action and knowledge, their resolution requires a (re-)configuration of our democratic ideas, institutions, and practices in order to deliver sustainable futures for all.
The research group Democratic (Re)Configurations of Sustainability Transformations aims to identify and assess incongruities between existing democratic processes and the wicked problems facing contemporary societies. Our researchers identify the drivers of new democratic ideas and practices and explore their potential to foster sustainable solutions. Building on these insights, the research group develops new and effective forms of democratic governance for civil society, states, and markets. In an innovative fusion of transformation and transformative research, the research group blends empirical, descriptive, and normative perspectives to:
- Study the functioning and transformation of contemporary democratic institutions and informal practices;
- Rigorously assess the (re-)configuration of democratic practices with respect to their (formal and informal) processes and internal and external dimensions;
- Formulate innovative methods to (re-)configure democratic practices;
- Create a science-policy interface for the development, implementation and evaluation of different democratic prototypes at various levels and across sectors.