Day 1
9:30 - 10:30, Issues and challenges for current democracies

In this opening session, the objectives and rationale of the school will be clarified. Participants will share their expectations and the initial project ideas they are working on.

10:30 - 11:00, Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30, Why is there a need to deepen democracy? Seizing the current democratic moment

Dramatic news about the state of global democracy is hitting the headlines everyday. At the same time, current challenges to democratic system can serve as a basis to deepen democracy. This session will focus on the drivers of the current challenges to democratic system (also called democratic backsliding or de-democratization) and provide participants with tools to diagnose the state of democracy in their own context.

12:30 - 14:00, Lunch break
14:00 - 15:30, Existing strategies to strengthen democracy: lessons learned from recent initiatives

In this session, participants will move from diagnosing the evolution of democratic systems to discussing existing initiatives aiming to strengthen democracies based on series of concrete cases.

15:00 - 15:30, Coffee break

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15:30 - 17:30, Group work on participants initiatives and contexts
19:00 - 22:00, Dinner
Day 2
9:30 - 10:30, Workshop in national language

During day 2, workshops will be designed based on participants’ interests and needs. Workshops will take place in the national language of participants

10:30 - 11:00, Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30, Plenary restitution of group work and discussion

In this plenary session, participants will share the outcomes of the different workshops

12:30 - 14:00, Lunch break
14:00 - 15:30, Personal / group work

Participants will go back to their work to come up with an action plan to design and implement their project ideas.

15:00 - 15:30, Coffee break
15:30 - 17:30, Next steps : the League of Democratic Cities and opportunities for further support

The concluding session of the panel will provide participants with some resources and network opportunities to further develop their project after DeepDem school

Day 3
Optional excursion, TBD


Clara Egger

Clara Egger

Senior Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration and Sociology, Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Her research concerns direct democracy institutions globally – with a specific focus on their historical development and their impacts on international cooperation – and the dynamics of de-democratisation processes after a crisis. She co-authored several academic publications on direct democracy and provided policy advice about how to introduce such institutions in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. She is a member of the executive board of Democracy International. Her latest book “A new democratic frontiers? Direct democracy Institutions in globalised world (co-authored) with Raul Magni-Berton is forthcoming at Routledge.

Email: egger(at)

Raul Magni-Berton

Raul Magni-Berton

Full Professor, Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs, European School of Political and Social Sciences

Raul Magni-Berton coordinates the programme of the DeepDem summer school. He holds a chair in Comparative Direct Democracy and directs the BA program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He specialises in the comparative approach to democratic institutions, assessing their diversity and quality in more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and 10 books. He also provides policy advice to local and national French institutions. He is currently finalising a book entitled “A new democratic frontier? Direct democracy institutions in a globalised world”, co-authored with Clara Egger, to be published by Routledge.

Email: raul.magniberton(at)

Jean-Benoit Pilet

Jean-Benoit Pilet

Professor in political science, Université libre de Bruxelles

Jean-Benoit Pilet is Professor in political science at Université libre de Bruxelles (uLB, Belgium). He coordinates the project POLITICIZE on citizens’ attitudes towards democracy and its reforms. He has especially worked on Europeans’ views about direct democracy and deliberative democracy.

Email: Jean-Benoit.Pilet(at)

Note: The participation fee is 1200 euros for 2 days, and 1450 euros for 3 days.

You will receive the payment details upon the registration. Please note that without payment the registration is not complete and your participation is not guaranteed. Cancellation with the payment refund is only possible until 1 month ahead of the event.

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