Recasting the Role of Citizens in Foreign and Security Policy? A DFG-funded research project

Democratic innovations and changing patterns of interaction between European executives and citizens

DFG-funded research project (2022-2025)

For the last decade, politicians and members of national executives in Europe have started to actively engage ordinary citizens in foreign and security policy (FSP), by initiating dialogue and participation processes. Our project investigates this change of the role of citizens in a policy field, usually considered as being dominated by the executive.

More specifically, we have three objectives:

  1. We analyse and structure (change in) understandings of executive-citizens interactions in FSP as held by executives in Europe.
  2. We investigate if and how these understandings translate into interaction processes of democratic innovations, by which executives alter and possibly deepen citizens’ involvement in FSP.
  3. We assess the ramifications these practices may have for the politics in FSP, as well as how we could evaluate them normatively.

We empirically map and theoretically conceptualise executive-citizens relations in FSP by comparing the cases of France, Germany, Poland, and the UK.

A brief description of the project can be found here.

This project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) und runs from June 2022 to May 2025. It expands and deepens our pre-study of the German case, and it draws on preliminary research on democratic innovations in other European countries (funded by the internal funding line of the HSU).

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