Bayerischer Forschungsverbund “Zukunft der Demokratie” (ForDemocracy)

Project 02
RePair Democracy. Social Innovations as a laboratory for basic democratic practices (RePaD)


The project takes up social innovations like rRepair cCafés or oOpen wWorkshops to transfer principles of democratic cooperation from do-it-yourself cultures to the public space. The aim is to practice and perform direct participation in the design of our societies.

Project Description

There is a growing need for alternatives and add-ons to representative democracy among citizens. In recent years, social innovations have played a prominent role in debates about how to tackle societal crises. The question is in what ways social innovations are capable of unfolding political and democratic potential and if the democratic practices performed and learned in the context of social innovations might foster practices and attitudes of democratization and political awareness in diverse contexts.

As a first step, the RePair Democracy project is going to research and describe the democratic micro-practices that can be observed in repair cafés, open workshops and other social innovations. The aim of the second step of the project is to develop opportunities in cooperation with stakeholders to extend democratic innovations to the public space. Thus, RePair Democracy is less about reconnecting actors to traditional democratic structures but about developing a collaborative understanding of democracy for an immediately participative design of social environments. The project sets out to Re-Pair connections between the private troubles of the various actors and public issues.

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Projekt 02

Gerald Beck (right)
Robert Jende (left)