Democracy and Debate: The Shadows of Totalitarianism and Populism (DTP)
Team: Coordinator: Hanspeter Kriesi (University of Zurich, Switzerland), Mladen Lazic (Belgrade University, Serbia), Dobrinka Kostova (Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, BAS, Bulgaria)
Start: July 1, 2011, Duration 24 months
Key words: Democracy, totalitarianism, populism, elites, citizen, media
. The positive experience of NCCR Democracy, University of Zurich will be applied. The project is focused primarily on updating of paradigms, introducing new methods of teaching, modernization of curricula, and sustaining independent research activities. Both teaching and research activities have the objective of fostering comparative approaches in interdisciplinary fields of social science. In long term, the project aims at helping to modernize European area studies on democracy in partnering Eastern European institutions. In the near perspective, the project aims at sustaining Eastern European academia in the transition to fully fledged democratic standards. aiming at a successful transfer of high quality knowledge and educational programmes on democracy in EuropeBulgarian Academy of Sciencesfor the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the InstituteThe proposed project aims to foster long term international partnership between scientific and educational institutions in Switzerland, Serbia, and Bulgaria. The project is designed to establish collaboration between Zurich University, Belgrade University, and the
Specifically, the project aims at strengthening teaching and research capacities of the Eastern European partners in issues related to democracy, totalitarianism, and populism. The main activities of the project involve: establishment of a network of excellence to craft the teaching capacities of Serbian and Bulgarian partners for a course on democracy, totalitarianism, and populism and thus achieving a modernization of curriculum for Master and PhD students; designing readings for this new course; initiation of a mobility scheme program to give rise to better knowledge of the modern methodology and approaches in studying, teaching, and dissemination of scientific results in this area; updating the specialized library; renewal of equipment; preparation of learning tools to transfer knowledge to society to legitimate its funding support, and establishing a network with local journalists. In this regard a special emphasis is put on knowledge shift to society through transformation of scientific findings into concrete activities for specific target groups - parliamentarians and journalists. The latter will contribute not only to better understanding of the complex issues of democracy but will add prestige and respect to social sciences.