CSD has a long tradition of critical democratic theory, with renowned theorists including John Keane, Chantal Mouffe and Bhiku Parekh playing a significant role in the development of the Centre’s international profile.

The Centre is recognised widely for its work on radical democracy, especially the development of agonistic democratic theory. Colleagues continue to contribute to contemporary theoretical debates on deliberative, participatory and representative forms of democracy and the nature of democracy in a digital age.

In the face of complex and ‘wicked’ policy problems and increasing public disillusionment with the established institutions of government, CSD is at the forefront of current thinking on how to craft more legitimate and effective democratic institutions and forms of governance. We have expertise at different levels of governance, including the city, region, nation state and transnational bodies such as the European Union. Critical to this enterprise is understanding the psychological impact of institutions and forms of governance.

CSD is actively engaged with academic and practitioner debates about the legitimacy, design and evaluation of innovations in democratic participation and the coordination of new forms of governance that cut across traditional public, private and geographic boundaries. The Centre is involved in thinking through the potential political and social impact of big data and current debates about the need for an Internet Bill of Rights.

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