Proje Geliştirme ve
Koordinasyon Birimi

2016-10-01 Poland: Democratic Discourses in Central-East Europe – Bottom-up Approach

Democratic Discourses in Central-East Europe – Bottom-up Approach

Description of the project offered: 
Democratic discourses and the rule of law’ (CULT-COOP-01-2017)

Theoretical background of the research 
The European Union’s political scene and her rhetoric have been largely dominated by one vision of Community policy, i.e. the vision of liberal democracy, which puts in question the essential feature of a society, namely the difference. As a consequence, the EU elite does not take into account the reality of existing social conflicts. Democracy as the rule of the majority and as popular sovereignty bears indelible tensions resulting from the difference. When the EU political elite as well as the elites of many individual Member States seem to forget it, it is used by populist movements and parties. Springing up like mushrooms, they very probably constitute one of the most serious threats to Europe and to Member States.
Thus, an attempt to identify social conflicts seems to be one of the crucial research tasks that should be completed within the Call ‘Democratic discourses and the rule of law’ (CULT-COOP-01-2017). This study should use a bottom-up approach, i.e. the main subject of the research ought to be the peoples (Demos in plural), on their different levels.

Research goals
• to conceptualize democracy at the local level
• to describe characteristic features and the quality of democracy at the local level
• to demonstrate the implementation of democratic values at the local level in practice
• to show civic awareness of ‘Living Democracy’ as the pattern of citizens’ behavior
• to study the level of UE’s legitimacy among the society at the local level

Research dimension
Regarding the geographic and political dimension of the research our team is going to focus on the V4 countries. Inter alia, we are going to define the relations (inconsistency versus coherence) between national democratic discourses and European Union’s understanding of democracy (Article 2, Treaty on European Union) on the one hand and classic theories of democracy (Robert Dahl’s polyarchy and the conceptions of his followers, such as Wolfgang Merkel’s embedded democracy) on the other.
Resolving the problem of the relations between these two types of discourses (national vs. EU’s and classic democratic theory) would be complemented with addressing the question of their origins.

E.g. Case Study: Poland
For the accurate and comprehensive completing of the task we propose a four-level study:
1. Defining the key actors responsible for setting democratic discourse (individual and collective).
2. Assessing the level of Polish society’s understanding of democracy – compliance with democratic discourses, both European and classic.
3. If there are symptoms of conflict between these two discourses and the society’s understanding of democracy,– identifying its causes and evolution.
4. Addressing the question: which of the various alternatives to the European and classic democratic discourses, is most attractive for the Polish public?

The fundamental method should be comparative, historical, analytical and critical analysis of the comprehensive accessible databases such as inter alia: European Social Survey and World Value Survey, regarding the research area determined below.

Additionally, we propose to conducti our own empirical research at the local level. For example, to expand the results of the quantitative research, we would like to design a qualitative procedure to measure the quality of local democracy in selected countries. Direct observations and in-depth interviews with local politicians are to be used in this study. The goal is to reveal the perception of democracy in small communities where the real democratic attitudes should be expected to occur. This type of research seems to be appropriate, given that qualitative methods have a strong basis in the fields of sociology and political science.
Project proposer:   Anna Fligel (Poland)
Partner role:  Project participant 
Partner organisation:  Research
Call for proposal identifier:  H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017

Description of the collaboration sought: 
We are looking for the project Coordinatore who is going to submit proposal in response to the call 'Democratic discourses and the rule of law’ (CULT-COOP-01-2017).

We are excellet research team from the Faculty of International and Political Studies of the University of Lodz (Poland). We have experience as for the proposal submition in H2020. Furthermore, our Faculty already participate in H2020 RIA.

The University of Lodz is one of the leading institutions of higher education in Poland. It is also one of the strongest science and research centers in the country. The 12 faculties of the University provide programs in 37 fields of study and 182 specializations. Almost 38 100 students that attend classes at different faculties of the University are taught by 2 196 academic teachers. Well-equipped classrooms and laboratories together with highly qualified researchers are the foundation of the University of Lodz.
UL actively participates in the innovative development of the city of Lodz, Lodz region and the entire country as well as the European Union, indicating the courses of action aimed at solving economic and social problems. University of Lodz pursues an objective of gaining strong competitive position at Polish and international market through high quality education, high quality research and excellent research centers created by interdepartmental research teams with the influence on the European Research Area. The Faculty of International and Political Studies was founded in 2000 as a division of the University of Lodz. It shares both scientific and educational duties in three areas political science, international relations and cultural studies.

The Faculty is characterized by many attributes, such as:
• The high level of theoretical excellence shown by departments of: political systems, political thought, theory of foreign policy and security, political science research methodology and political forecasting.
• Regional studies relevant to the project - Asian, British, European, French German, Middle East and North Africa – all separate administrative units.
• In depth studies in Eastern Europe within the International Center for East European Research combining activities of four faculties from the University of Lodz and numerous partners from the EU countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden) and East European countries (Belarus, Russia, Ukraine).
• On of highest levels of internationalization at the University. There are more than 40 Erasmus agreements with European partners and numerous agreements with Japan, Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan, USA what allows permanent scientific and educational cooperation both between researchers and students. 
Expertise sought: Scientific research, Coordination. Cooperation, Policies, 
Roles sought: Project participant, 
Organisation types sought: Consultancy, Research, Education, 
Countries sought: Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Norway, 

Call for proposal specific information

The referenced call for proposals has no specific fields defined.