Democratic Agendas


In 2017, the CTS launched a new network-building project entitled Democratic Agendas Network (DAN) as a framework for integrating projects and dialogues related to the career of democracy and its futures. Through the DAN, the CTS is currently focused on developing a number of networks that would link students and faculty at Northwestern University with their peers at other academic institutions, both in the US and abroad, in long-term collaborative projects. These new networks will enhance and complement the conferences, research, teaching, publication, 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 DAN 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 DAN.

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


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

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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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