Democracy undergoes transformation – two earlier transformations of democracy created representative democracy (in late 18th century) and mass democracy (in the first half of the 20th century). There is a lot of evidence that we are witnessing a third huge transformation. For democratic theory this means that we are challenged to adapt all our concepts, norms, and the agenda of democratic theory, in order to accompagny this transformation and make sense of it. We do not know yet, however, in which direction and to which end the process will lead, but we already see that democracy ‘grows out’ of our concepts.
My research interest mainly deals with the task of equipping democratic theory with new concepts and new fields of experience from which it can develop. I do this in four tracks:
Comparative Democratic Theory
At the crossroad of Democratic Theory and Comparative Political Theory, I try to establish a project that helps democratic theory to benefit and profit from non-Western democratic thought.
Digital Democratic Theory
The process of digitalization affects democratic theory in all fields, including the ‘heart chambers’ of justifying democracy. I ask how digitalization may or will change our justifications of democracy.
Niklas Luhmann and Democratic Theory
Within the recent wave of critical readings of Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory, I extrapolate a new reading of democracy from Luhmann’s work which is based on the central term of ‘contingency’.
Democratic Theory and Civic Education
Mutual learning perspectives combine democratic theory and civic education: Democratic theory is (sometimes implicitly) based on ideas of education to and within democracy.