International Summer School 'Democracy and its transformations'

Project in brief

The 7th International Summer School on Democracy and Participation will take place from 22 to 26 May 2023 and will be held on the ULB campus (Solbosch campus, Brussels).




Univesité libre de Bruxelles

Université Laval

Sciences Po Bordeaux

Université de Lausanne

Université Laval



Project description

The International Summer School, co-organised by the Univesité libre de Bruxelles (Free University of Brussels), Laval University, Sciences Po Bordeaux, the University of Lausanne and the University of Luxembourg, draws fully on contemporary thinking on the transformations or profound metamorphoses of democratic government in our complex societies.

The seventh edition of the summer school will focus on democracy and its transformations.

The growing body of work on the transformation of democracy reveals several ways in which contemporary democracies are changing. In many ways, the trends seem contradictory. They range from transformations towards a deepening of democracy (through direct, participatory and deliberative democracy mechanisms) to democratic setbacks (illiberalism, questioning of the rule of law) that can even lead to authoritarian and autocratic shifts.

Building on recent research on the transformations of democracy and the challenges facing this model of government, the summer school offers a rich programme for all young researchers working on the evolution of contemporary democracies.

Within this general framework, the summer school is primarily aimed at doctoral students and researchers who are working on :

  • Citizens’ attitudes towards democracy,
  • transformations of representative democracy,
  • direct democracy, participatory democracy and deliberative democracy,
  • developments towards online democracy,
  • autocratic and illiberal threats in some democracies,
  • populism and its insertion in contemporary democratic regimes.

The summer school aims to bring together research of both an empirical and a more theoretical nature.

For more information, please consult our flyer (PDF).

Selection of participants

Applications can be submitted online using the following link: REGISTRATION

Please submit a short CV and a brief presentation of your research project (1 page).
Deadline for applications : 17th of April, 2023. Selected candidates will be informed by 24th of April, 2023. The registration will be definitively confirmed after payment of the participation fee by 2nd of May, 2023 at the latest.

The registration fee is €300 per participant. It covers the participation in all academic activities, as well as lunches at the ULB canteen. Other costs are at the charge of the participants (transport, accommodation costs, etc.).

Daily participation (100€) is foreseeable by contacting the organisers ([email protected]). This participation is particularly aimed at people who wish to follow only one module of the summer school but are not researchers.

Organization and facilitation

Participants will be invited to take part in a week of academic activities combining research presentations by experienced researchers and in-depth discussion sessions of ongoing research projects by the participants. Each of the five days will follow the same format. In the morning, two or three researchers will be invited to give a presentation of their recent research on the issue of democracy and its transformations. In the afternoon, two to three participants will be invited to present their research project (PhD or other) and will receive detailed feedback from the morning’s speakers, the other participants, and the researchers of the organising team.
All activities will take place on the ULB campus (Solbosch campus, Brussels).