WG IV: Democratic Renewal

Research Objectives
Methods And Data Collection
Next Steps: Outcomes

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Research Objectives:

  1. Chart, explore and evaluate democratic reforms across Europe instigated since 2000 in two specific fields at the local level:
    1. Political structures and processes related to representative (and direct) democracy
    2. Civic and public engagement and developments in participative democracy
  2. Contextualise reforms into their national and international setting
  3. Assess the extent and effect of democratic reforms mentioned above on local democracy
  4. Examine the motivating policy and goals for the reforms identified and understand the political objectives
  5. Indentify the source of reform
  6. Present an inventory of the most important institutional and procedural / process reforms

Methods And Data Collection

The WG will make full use of the international nature of the COST network to access literature and any appropriate existing data-sources across the countries and languages of the network. The WG will take the same, international (multi-linguistic) approach to primary research and will explore the possibility of international primary research projects and consider the development of appropriate international teams and funding organisations. In addition, WG members will be encouraged to enhance the research with their own nationally based and funded projects on themes related to democratic renewal. An initial literature review will be conducted to identify the main themes, currents, trends, developments and emerging questions on democratic renewal.Selected case studies will be indentified from among the WG members and developed to provide an on-going framework for the continuing research. The range of methods employed by the WG will be further developed in discussions between group members.

Next Steps: Outcomes

WGIV is currently undertaking the following activity:

  • Production of a country by country review of democratic renewal initiatives identified in objective 1, above
  • Integrating the national local government bodies, from the WG’s countries into supporting, assisting and disseminating knowledge of the WG and its activities
  • Indentifying primary research projects and constructing research teams with the aim of producing research funding proposals
  • Conducting a literature review of appropriate academic and non-academic material
  • Proposal for a special issue of an academic journal, joint-authored papers for academic journal and an edited book

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