Bayerischer Forschungsverbund “Zukunft der Demokratie” (ForDemocracy)

Project 03
Democratization of Money and Credit


Money is no ‘thing’ but the product of collective design. The design process can be organized democratically at both the local and the transnational level. With reference to the complementary currency experiment in the Chiemgau region, we explore the potential of monetary design to strengthen democracy.

Project Description

The project investigates how the institutional design of money may be employed to strengthen self-determination, social cohesion and sustainability. Starting point is the legal money order of the European Monetary Union and its monetary policy. We will investigate their contribution to democratic deficits in the European Union.

The project then maps existing proposals for institutional reform, including the democratization of the European Central Bank, the restriction and regulation of private money creation and the introduction of parallel and complementary currencies. We seek to reveal the conflicting ideas regarding the nature and function of money as well as money’s relationship with democracy and constitutional values such as equality and individual freedom.

The project conceptualizes money as a product of collective design and clarifies the potential of the collective design of money to transform political economy. One focus is on societal experiments with regional complementary currencies that aim at reducing inequality and at making the economy more democratic and sustainable. Existing complementary currencies will be systematized and evaluated.

In close cooperation with societal actors we will explore opportunities to further develop the complementary currency `Chiemgauer´ and investigate the scope for further institutional money experiments.

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Projekt 03 Christian Gelleri, Prof. Dr. Isabel Feichtner

Isabel Feichtner (right)
Christian Gelleri (left)