Parties, Citizens, and Democracy
mail: bernhard [dot] wessels [at] wzb [dot] eu
In recent years, democracy, parties, and citizens have been facing a number of challenges: Political communities change; political cultures become more heterogeneous. The mass media and new media affect the structures of communication between representatives and represented. Increasing demand for participation challenges representative democracy and traditional actors such as political parties. Voters have to deal with an increasing complexity of policy spaces. Holding governments accountable becomes increasingly complicated, political representation more complex.
Parties, citizens, and democracy are at the core of Hans-Dieter Klingemann's work, former Director of the WZB research unit “Institutions and Social Change”. He contributed to the analysis of transition to democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and as former president of the European Political Science Network to the development
of political science in the new democracies. The role of parties and the orientation and behavior of citizens that make democracy work are the two key dimensions characterizing Hans-Dieter Klingemann’s research. His colleagues at the WZB and beyond will address and discuss these topics at the conference on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
This conference is organized by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.