Budapest, Hungary

Dismantling Democracy from Within

when 27 June 2022 - 2 July 2022
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1 EC
fee EUR 330

During the first decades of the twenty-first century, the threat to democratic societies the world over has increasingly come from within. In general, this threat from within is not one of military coups or the interference of foreign governments, but of fraught popular elections and rising populist tides. Amid an array of national and cultural differences shaped by history and contemporary conditions, there is no one true and tested path to securing democratic societies against this threat. Yet this need not mean abandoning democracy. It means diagnosing democracy’s current failures, understanding its partial achievements, and renewing its many and varied cultures. There is an urgent need for both sustained dialogue among proponents of diverse interpretive positions and their recommendations, for policy as well as mobilization.

The “Dismantling Democracy from Within" course advances the twin mission of understanding the critical challenges democracy is facing and developing the democratic agendas that will meet these challenges under variable cultural and socio-economic conditions. Such a mission can only be secured by facilitating a robust dialogue among students, activists, and scholars assembled from all over the world. Students will leave the Summer School with a deeper knowledge of the specific challenges facing democracy in different contexts as well as a global understanding of how they are connected.

Sessions at the Summer School are led by its distinguished faculty and will generally take the form of lecture presentations, seminar discussions, and student-centered workshops. Throughout the week, students will have the opportunity to discuss their research with faculty during office hours sessions.

Course leader

Dilip Gaonkar, Rhetoric and Public Culture, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA
Shalini Randeria, Central European University, Vienna, Austria/Budapest, Hungary

Target group

Target Group
The Summer School invites applications from humanities and social science graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and junior faculty who have received their Ph.D. within the last 5 years. Applications from advanced undergraduate students will also be considered. As a prerequisite for the course, participants need to be pursuing research related to the Summer School’s core themes and questions.

The Summer School admits and fully funds a minimum of twenty students and reserves one-third of available spaces for applicants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We envision that the Summer School may be of interest to young scholars seeking to understand democracy’s present challenges from a wide array of (inter)disciplinary investments including: anthropology, area studies, communication studies, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, global/transnational studies, legal studies, philosophy, political science, political theory, postcolonial studies, and sociology

Credits info

1 EC
Upon successful completion of the course, a certificate of attendance is also awarded.

Fee info

EUR 330: The early-bird fee is payable until April 30
EUR 360: payable until May 28


The Open Society University Network is offering scholarships on a competitive basis for currently enrolled students and employees of OSUN member institutions. If admitted, fee waivers are available for students of CIVICA institutions.