Organisation of democratic processes
Democratic structures are found both at the various levels of the legislative in the context of representative democracy and by the variety of organisations of civil society and of private economy. In the context of the Association´s sub-projects, different kinds of democratic processes and ways of organising them are initiated and analysed. For Cluster B three aspects are relevant: participation, the connection of surveying and analysis methods and democratic processes as well as making use of synergies of topics resulting from the sub-projects.
A look at the list of issues and topical fields dealt with by Cluster B shows that the participating projects connect scientific methods to democratic processes:
- Social innovations as a field for experimenting with democratic micro-practices (Prof. Dr. Gerald Beck)
- Refugees: participation and acceptance of democracy (Prof. Dr. Sonja Haug)
- Digital participation in local politics (Prof. Dr. Jörn Hurtienne)
- Assessment of the future of journalism and the media (Prof. Dr. Michael Meyen)
- Participation of women in local politics in rural regions (Prof. Dr. Barbara Thiessen)
Such a connection faces two challenges. On the one hand, it must be discussed how scientific standards can be met and, if necessary, modified when scientists no longer act as observers but initiate processes which they will then scientifically accompany, i. e. how can we take care that the scientific nature of participative research will be secured?
How are democratic (research) processes organised? This question concerns all phases of empirical research (from sampling and analysis tools via setting as far as to assessment and final report). Thus, the question of how democratic processes are organised, which is also crucial for Cluster B, includes an intensive exchange on the above mentioned questions about methods.