The Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) is based in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Westminster. The Centre undertakes research across a range of critical social and political challenges, promoting an interdisciplinary environment that embraces colleagues from politics, international relations, sociology and criminology. Established in 1989, CSD continues to sustain an international reputation for research excellence through a programme of publications, events and collaborations with academics, practitioners and activists.

CSD has established numerous collaborations with scholars and universities around the world and has hosted encounters with public intellectuals including Charles Taylor, Stuart Hall, Quentin Skinner, Bruno Latour, Richard Rorty, Michael Walzer, Judith Butler, James Tully and Luc Boltanski. The CR Parekh lecture has included lectures by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Arundhati Roy and Ashis Nandy. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, CSD hosted the major international conference Doing and Thinking Democracy Differently, ending with a keynote lecture from the distinguished Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

CSD recognises that responding to contemporary social and political challenges requires engagement beyond the academy, so actively welcomes dialogue and collaboration with practitioners and activists around the world.


CSD is highly motivated to ensure that its research has social and political impact beyond academia. Resources, support and training is provided to colleagues to ensure that such impact is maximised. CSD has a long tradition of engaging directly with practitioners and policy makers in government and civil society settings, working with the media (both novel and traditional) and exploiting other opportunities to make research relevant to policy and practice.

Examples of recent impact activity include:

  • Chantal Mouffe, Agonism and Politics: Theory Meets Practice
  • Dibyesh Anand, Speaking Out on Tibetan Politics and International Relations
  • Abdelwahab El-Affendi, Islam, Democracy and Political Change

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