• 30-31 OCTOBER

    Pavilion of Knowledge, Lisbon

  • 30th OCTOBER

    Democracy at a crossroads

    During this session we will discuss how recent political events have affected citizens’ perceptions and experiences of democracy, and democratic legitimacy.

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  • 30th OCTOBER

    Challenges to democracy and emerging alternatives

    In this session, we will focus on the challenges and alternatives that have recently emerged and are reshaping our idea and experience of democracy.

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  • 31st OCTOBER

    Democracy in Europe and beyond: what role for the EU? 

    During this session, we will reflect on the role played by the EU in promoting democracy in Europe and in the world.

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  • 31st OCTOBER

    Research and Innovation: building a stronger democratic Europe

    In this session, we will explore the key role of research and innovation in reshaping democracy and how this role can be enhanced in the future.

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‘Democracy and Europe’ will bring together perspectives that look at the past, tackle present challenges and look into the future of democracy in Europe and beyond. This encounter of multiple perspectives and actors – academics, civil society, and policy-makers – is of utmost importance to help us move towards a better society.


Democracy is under pressure. In the aftermath of the financial and social crisis, distrust in political institutions and governing elites has paved the way for the rise of ‘anti-establishment’ discourses  and populism. Furthermore, the recent flow of migrants into Europe and  the heightened security concerns have added complexity to this picture while, at the same time, tackling the effects of climate change, responding to international security threats, and reducing inequalities in an interconnected world and economy require strong and legitimate institutions. Additionally, the wide use of ICT and social media has also altered the way citizens (inter)act with one another and democratic institutions, and participate in a democratic society. Consequently, there is a widespread perception that democracy is in need of reshaping with an emphasis on participation, engagement, transparency, responsiveness, accountability and effectiveness. It is crucial to understand whether or not the facts bear out a structural crisis for democracy. There are, indeed, a number of questions which must be addressed.What is the perception and attachment of citizens towards democratic institutions? And how do they experience democracy and what accounts for their ‘democratic disappointment’?What can be done to fight citizens’ political alienation and distrust? Is deliberative democracy or greater public participation the answer or do we need to think beyond current practices?

Do political leaders and politicians play a role in the erosion of democracy?

How can democratic leaders respond to the re-emergence of phenomena like nationalism, protectionism and xenophobia in an interconnected world? And how can their claims be addressed by democratic institutions while preserving core democratic values, such as equality?

What economic and integration policies are needed to address these challenges? What impact will these phenomena have on communities and citizenry?

What is the role of the EU in supporting democracy in Europe? How can the EU overcome the democratic deficit it is often accused of having and help address these issues? What concrete actions are needed? What is an  appropriate degree of action?

With Europe and the EU now at a crossroads, the path to be chosen will determine the future of subsequent generations and is inextricably linked to these questions. Interdisciplinary research and public debate are fundamental in answering these challenges while building more inclusive, open, and democratic societies. The social sciences and humanities have a key role to play in this process, by informing and shaping decisions on democratic pathways and choices.

This conference offers a unique opportunity to bring together academics, representatives of civil society, and policy-makers to address these questions. The conference will bring together perspectives that look at the past, tackle present challenges and look into the future of democracy in Europe and beyond. This encounter of multiple perspectives is of utmost importance for tracing the contours of democratic progress.

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Add to My Calendar 2022-05-04 12:00:00 2022-05-04 18:00:00 Europe/London DemocracyConference Lisboa, Portugal FCT geral@fct.pt


10:00 - 14:00

Welcome Session

14:00 -14:30

Session 1 – Democracy at a crossroads: citizens, demos and democratic legitimacy


Coffee Break


Session 2 – Challenges to democracy and emerging alternatives

16:30- 18:00

End of 1 st day


Session 3 – Democracy in Europe and beyond: what role for the EU?


Coffee break


Session 4 – Research and Innovation: building a stronger democratic Europe


Closing Session



Pavilion of Knowledge, Lisbon


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How to arrive?

Lisbon Airport is just two metro stations away from Pavillion of Knowledge. Oriente train station is only a five-minute walk from our venue.

Where to stay?

Pavilion of Knowledge is located in Parque das Nações, in the oriental part of Lisbon and by the Tagus River. There are several hotels nearby where you can stay. Special conditions will be made available to participants very soon.

How much is the participation fee?

Net4Society does not charge any participation fee. Our events are open to everyone who want to take part in this important discussion.

Who is Net4Society?

Net4Society is the international network of National Contact Points for the Societal Challenge 6 “Europe in a changing world: inclusive, innovative and reflective societies” in Horizon 2020. National Contact Points (NCPs) are set up to guide researchers in their quest for securing EU funding.






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Pavilion of Knowledge

Largo José Mariano Gago, 1990-223

Lisboa, Portugal







If you have any question just feel free to contact us.



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