Democratic Agendas


In 2017, the CTS launched a new network-building project titled Democratic Agendas Network as a framework for integrating projects and dialogues related to the career of democracy and its futures. Through the Democratic Agendas Network, the CTS is currently focused on developing a network that links graduate students and faculty at universities and research institutions, both in the U.S. and abroad, in long-term collaborative projects. This new network will enhance and complement the conferences, research, teaching, publications, and public outreach initiatives that the CTS has been fostering since its inception. The CTS plays a crucial coordinating role in this project, working in collaboration with international scholars and institutional partners. The Democratic Agendas Network is coordinated by the CTS in close collaboration with two steering partners:

Along with the CTS, these two partners will provide substantial funding for sustaining the Democratic Agendas Network.

In addition to the steering partners, the Democratic Agendas Network initiative involves collaborations with affiliate partners from around the world:


Towards Democratic Renewal:
Theory and Practice
June 21–23, 2023
IWM | Vienna, Austria

Featuring lectures and panel discussions with:

  • Madhulika Banerjee (Political Science, Delhi University)
  • Mukulika Banerjee (Anthropology, LSE)
  • Craig Calhoun (Social Sciences, Arizona State University)
  • Dilip Gaonkar (Director, Center for Transcultural Studies/Rhetoric and Public Culture, Northwestern University)
  • Jayson Harsin (Communication, Media, and Culture, American University in Paris)
  • Ludger Hegedorn (Permanent Fellow, IWM)
  • Gesche Kedding (Sociology and Psychology, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena)
  • Shalini Randeria (President and Rector, CEU)
  • Stephen Sawyer (History, American University of Paris)
  • Kim Lane Scheppele (Sociology and Law, Princeton University)
  • Rebecca Tapscott (Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh)
  • Charles Taylor (Philosophy, McGill University)
  • Yogendra Yadav (Politics, Scholar/Activist, Delhi, India)

Dilip Gaonkar (CTS/Northwestern University)
Ludger Hegedorn (IWM)

CLICK HERE to register for the public event on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.

Poster with event schedule

Rebuilding Democracy
April 20–21, 2023
El Colégio de México, Mexico City

Featuring lectures and panel discussions with:

  • Benjamin Arditi (UNAM)
  • Humberto Beck (Colmex)
  • Roberto Breña (Colmex)
  • Craig Calhoun (Arizona State University)
  • Juan Cruz Olmeda (Colmex)
  • Dilip Gaonkar (Northwestern University)
  • Cristina Lafont (Northwestern University)
  • Joy Langston (Colmex)
  • Claudio Lomnitz (Columbia University/El Colégio Nacional)
  • Mariana Mora (CIESAS)
  • Andrea Pozas Loyo (IIJ–UNAM)
  • Charles Taylor (McGill University)
  • Nadia Urbinati (Columbia University)
  • Camila Vergara (Cambridge University)

Opening remarks by:

  • Vicente Ugalde (Secretary General, Colmex)
  • Jean-François Prud'homme (CEI Chair, Colmex)
  • Dilip Gaonkar (Co-Organizer, Northwestern University)
  • Humberto Beck (Co-Organizer, Colmex)

The conference was held in English and Spanish with simultaneous translation provided.


Click here for the full schedule

Poster/Schedule for the Rebuilding Democracy Conference

Democracy under Duress
June 23–24, 2022

Organizers: Dilip Gaonkar and Lars Tønder.

Presenters: Mukulika Banerjee, Rajeev Bhargava, Craig Calhoun, Ulrike Flader, Dilip Gaonkar, Mihaela Mihai, Charles Taylor, Lars Tønder, and Camil Ungureanu.

Sponsors: Center for Anthropological, Political and Social Theory (CAPS), University of Copenhagen; Center for Transcultural Studies (CTS), Chicago; Center for Global Culture and Communication (CGCC), Northwestern University; and Mastercard Foundation.

Democracy under Duress

Resonance: A Workshop with Hartmut Rosa
November 11, 2019

Organizer: Dilip Gaonkar.

Participants: Amanda Anderson, Craig Calhoun, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Dilip Gaonkar, Benjamin Lee, Hartmut Rosa, Michael Steinberg, Charles Taylor.

Resonance Workshop

Summer School: Democracy and Demography
August 17-24, 2019

Attended by 29 students representing 23 countries
Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM)
Burg Feistritz, Austria
Special funding provided by the Mastercard Foundation

2019 Summer School

Popular Sovereignty, Majority Rule, and Electoral Politics
May-30-31, 2019

Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM)
Vienna, Austria (Although this workshop was held in Europe, over one third of participants were from developing countries)
Special funding provided by the Mastercard Foundation

Popular Sovereignty Conference

Democratic Agendas: Negotiating Climate Change, Capitalism, and the New Populisms
April 19-21, 2017

Organizer: Dilip Gaonkar.

Participants: Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Mukulika Banerjee, Craig Calhoun, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Dilip Gaonkar, Jessica Greenberg, Benjamin Lee, Arzoo Osanloo, Shalini Randeria, Michael Sandel, Charles Taylor, Michael Warner, Lisa Wedeen, Jeffrey Winters.

Democratic Agendas Conference

Special Plenary Session: Democratic Agendas, September 5-7, 2019

The 42nd Congress of the International Institute of Sociology
Witswatersrand University, Johannesburg, South Africa

Conference: Democracy at a Crossroads, October 30-31, 2018

Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica (CIDE)
Mexico City, Mexico

Learn more »

Conference: The Present and Future State of Democracy: Questions and Challenges, June 13-20, 2018

Institute for Social Justice (ISJ), Australian Catholic University
Karadamyli, Greece

Conference: Disenchantments with Democracy, December 7–9, 2017

Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy (AHCD), Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Geneva, Switzerland

Conference: Democracy at Risk: Exit and Voice, November 9-10, 2017

Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM)
Vienna, Austria

Other projects »


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