Democratic Efficacy and the Varieties of Populism in Europe – DEMOS


Project no.: 822590

Project description:

DEMOS is built on the assumption that populism is symptomatic of disconnect between how democratic polities operate and how citizens perceive their own aspirations, needs and identities within the political system. As such, DEMOS explores the practical value of ’democratic efficacy’ as the condition of political engagement needed to address the challenge of populism.

DEMOS combines in-depth research on populism and democratic efficacy with action research and pilot projects in order to develop lasting tools and timely policy recommendations; project methods include experiments, deliberative polling, text mining, surveys, and legal analysis.

DEMOS focuses not only on the polity, but equally on citizens’ perspectives: how they are affected by, and how they react to, populism. Politically underrepresented groups and those targeted by populist politics are a particular focus, e.g. youth, women, and migrants. Based on developed indicators and predictors of populism, DEMOS elaborates scenarios on the interactions of populism with social actors and institutions both at the national and the EU levels.

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Project funding:

The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”

Project results:

Work Package:
1. Project management
1.1 Periodic report for partners and stakeholders.
1.2 Periodic financial report.
1.3 Guidelines for data protection and ethics & Data Management Plan.
1.4 Report on kick-off meeting.
1.5 Report on 2nd project meeting.
1.6 Report on final project meeting.
2. Varieties of populism: state of the art and conceptualisation
2.1 Report on the conceptualisation of populism and the changing notions of populism in the academic literature, and analysing varieties of populism across Europe and beyond.
2.2 National reports on populist actors.
2.3 Synthesis Report on populist discourses for selected Member-States of the EU.
2.4 Report on the institutional context of populism.
2.5 Report on policies that trigger populist reactions.
3. Conceptualising and measuring democratic efficacy
3.1 Report on the concept and measurement (indicators) of democratic efficacy.
3.2 Report on the state of democratic efficacy in the member states.
3.3 Report on the relationship between educational systems, schools and democratic efficacy.
4. Social and social psychological roots of populism and democratic efficacy
4.1 Measures of populism and of predictors of populism.
4.2 Report of the survey on the relations between identity, emotions, trust and populist attitudes.
4.3 Report on the motives of supporting populist arguments.
4.4 Report on experiments on processing style, the use of information versus feelings in supporting populist arguments.
5. Populism in action: governance and public policy
5.1 Report on populist policymaking.
5.2 Report on the main patterns of populist policies in regional and local governments.
5.3 Policy paper analysing the fundamental policy conflicts between EU policies and populist policies in critical policy areas.
6. Impacts of populism: law, politics and people
6.1 Report on the legal impacts of populism.
6.2 Report on the impact of populism on democratic institutions.
6.3 Report on the impact of populism on party systems.
6.4 Report on the impact of populism on citizens.
7. Responding to populism: democratic efficacy at work
7.1 Report on citizens’ reactions to populism.
7.2 Mapping report – database, workshop’s report on civil society strategies and best practices for coping with populism.
7.3 Report on news media reactions to populism and individuation of best practices.
7.4 Report on the employed political strategies of tackling populism.
7.5 Report on legal reactions and best practices for counter anti-constitutionalist tendencies.
7.6 Report on school reactions and best practices.
8. Improving democratic efficacy: action research and pilot projects
8.1 Report on the effectiveness of deliberative techniques in fighting populist arguments.
8.2. Report on citizens’ own recommendations and feedback to the policy proposals to increase democratic efficacy and address populism.
8.3. Tools: identity game, trust game, educational tools.
8.4 Tool for detecting Russian influence.
9. Synthesis and policy recommendations
9.1 Summary of the key findings of DEMOS on populism and democratic efficacy.
9.2 Report on the medium to long-term scenarios on the consequences of populism.
9.3 Policy recommendations on addressing populism and increase democratic efficacy.
9.4 Policy briefs.
10. Validation and quality assurance
10.1 Validation criteria.
10.2 Quality Assurance Plan.
10.3 Validation report 1.
10.4 Validation report 2.
10.5 Validation report 3.
11. Communication, dissemination, and sustainability
11.1 Stakeholder Engagement Strategy.
11.2 Communication, Dissemination and Sustainability Plan (CDSP).
11.3 Mid-term and final impact evaluation report on CDSP.
11.4 Project communication & dissemination materials (i.e., website, social media, blog posts, short project videos, quarterly newsletter, etc.)
11.5 Launch of Scientific Communication Platform.
11.6 Sustainability report with recommendations on how to best exploit project findings beyond the project period, and ways in which partners and stakeholders may stay involved in the follow up of activities.
11.7 Final conference in Brussels.

Period of project implementation: 2018-12-01 - 2021-11-30

Project coordinator: Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Project partners: Kaunas University of Technology, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, University of Hamburg, Charles University in Prague, University of Amsterdam, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, The School of Communication and Media, n.o. (SKAMBA), University for Business Engineering and Management (Bosnia and Hercegovina), European Citizen Action Service, University of Turin, The Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Copenhagen, University of Barcelona, Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne University

Eglė Butkevičienė

2018 - 2021

Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Institute of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

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