This research seminar explores the relationship between Democracy, Democratisation and the Socio-Ecological Transformation that is widely demanded by scientists as well as political activists. It explores normative commitments and theoretical assumptions – which in many cases remain unreflected and implicit. Understandings of democracy and their relationship towards sustainability and the project of a socio-ecological transformation will be covered.
· This Research Seminar focuses on selected theories and concepts of democracy, which very are commonly used research on the condition of modern societies, their multiple crises and their projected transformation. This semester we will focus specifically on (a) competing ways in which different actors frame “the democracy issue” and (b) „ecological transformation theory”.
· PhD theses and other research proposals will be presented, discussed and further developed.
· Publication projects will be discussed and related drafts reviewed.
· Furthermore, we will critically look at articles (from a reviewer’s perspective) which have been submitted to academic journals.
Participants acquire detailed knowledge about
· the differences between a range of ways in which democracy and democratisation have been framed by particular political actors;
· the relationship between notions of democracy and notions of sustainability as well as their implications for eco-political policy approaches adopted today by subnational, national and international actors;
· how to develop a research proposal in the field of socio-scientific sustainability research;
· how to present a research project in the field of socio-scientific sustainability research;
· how to critically engage with academic material presented in written or oral ways.
Compulsory attendance. If the student cannot attend the course, the course instructor has to be informed in advance. Further rules for absence et al. are detailed in the meeting.
The Seminar consists in equal parts of inputs by the Professor and by the Seminar participants. The detailed discussion of methodical articles, drafts manuscripts, published articles, and the presentation and defence of the participants’ own work will familiarize the seminar participants with modes of academic work at an advanced level.
Successful completion of this research seminar requires:
· Regular seminar attendance (monitored) and taking responsibility as lead discussant of academic texts (20%)
· Presentation and defence of the own research project (50%)
· Formal review and assessment of a research project or academic article that has been submitted for publication to a journal (30%)