Democracy in Crisis: The End of Politics as We Know it?

The CAS research focus will aim to provide explanations for these dynamics from the perspective of various disciplines, thus fostering the interdisciplinary discourse on one of the most pressing questions today. Three different topic threads are envisaged for this.

The events of the most recent past – the electoral success of parties with latent or openly anti-democratic goals and the growing political polarization – have provided grounds to be concerned about the stability of democracy in many regions of the world, but particularly in the supposedly stable democracies of the West.

As a result of these events, the belief in democracy as a patent remedy for the stabilization and modernization of nations has been significantly weakened. In many European countries, the conviction is disappearing that universal participation in political decision-making is necessary, sometimes going as far as the specific intention of limiting civil rights for certain sections of the population. This is often connected to a loss of trust in the authority of law as an instrument of conflict resolution and balancing of interests. This change in public opinion can also be observed in foreign policy. Only a decade ago, attempts were still being made to establish democratic institutions in foreign countries with external and, in some cases, military intervention, trusting in the stabilizing and modernizing power of these institutions. In many cases, however, this induced transformation process is now in danger of faltering or even failing. It indeed appears that the democratic form of government itself, even in Western countries, is losing its appeal, with openly anti-democratic parties gaining both support and power.


Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Katrin Auspurg
    (Lehrstuhl für Quantitative Empirische Forschung, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Armin Engländer
    (Lehrstuhl für Strafrecht, Strafprozessrecht, Rechtsphilosophie und Rechtssoziologie, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Karsten Fischer
    (Lehrstuhl für Politische Theorie, Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft (GSI), LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Mario Gollwitzer
    (Lehrstuhl für Sozialpsychologie, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Hanitzsch
    (Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung (IfKW), LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Monika Schnitzer
    (Lehrstuhl für Komparative Wirtschaftsforschung, LMU)
  • Dr. Astrid Séville
    (Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft (GSI), LMU)
  • Dr. Yves Steinebach
    (Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft (GSI), LMU)

Visiting Fellows

Prof. David Levi-Faur, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow

Political Science

Prof. Michael Kimmage, Ph.D.

Visiting Fellow, Blog Author


  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Thomas Fischer – "Strafjustiz im Spiegel der Medien – ein Zerrbild?"
    (Sommersemester 2019)
  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Christian Welzel – "Democratic Horizons: What Value Change Reveals about the Future of Democracy"
    (Wintersemester 2019/20)
  • Lecture series – "Zur Aktualität von Max Weber"
    (Sommersemester 2020)
  • Interdisciplinary Zoom-Workshop – "Motivierte Kognition: Psychologische Struktur – Ökonomische Rationalität – Politische Problematik"
    (Sommersemester 2020)
  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Michael Zürn im Rahmen der Vortragsreihe "Cutting Edge" – "Repräsentation in der Krise"
    (Wintersemester 2020/21)
  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Robin Celikates – " 'Wir sind das Volk?' Pluralisierung versus Homogenisierung des Demos"
    (Wintersemester 2020/21)
  • Internationale Tagung – "International Public Administrations: Global Public Policy between Technocracy and Democracy"
    (Wintersemester 2020/21)
  • Panel discussion with Prof. Jutta Allmendinger, Ph.D., und Prof. Dr. Monika Schnitzer – "Brennglas der Pandemie. Covid-19 als Katalysator gesellschaftlicher Ungleichheiten"
    (Sommersemester 2021)
  • Panel discussion with Prof. Stephen Holmes, Ph.D., Dr. Ivan Krastev und Prof. Michael Kimmage, Ph.D. – "The Light that Failed. A New Debate on Liberalism and Democracy"
    (Sommersemester 2021)
  • Discussion with Margarete Bause, MdB, Prof. Dr. Stephan Lessenich, Tatjana Schäfer and Prof. Dr. Bernhart Schwenk – "Kunst am CAS − Joseph Beuys – Multiples Dissonanzen der Demokratie. Verlernen wir zu debattieren?"
    (Sommersemester 2021)
  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Philip Manow – "Crisis – What Crisis? Demokratie und Demokratiebeobachtung in der Krise"
    (Sommersemester 2021)
  • Workshop – "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Motivated Cognition"
    (Wintersemester 2021/22)
  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Michael Butter – "Verschwörungstheorien in Geschichte und Gegenwart"
    (Sommersemester 2022)
  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Gunnar Folke Schuppert – "Verschwörungstheorien und Digitale Demokratien"
    (Sommersemester 2022)
  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Monika Betzler – "Verschwörungstheorien und Politische Meinungsbildung in Zeiten der Pandemie"
    (Sommersemester 2022)