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Call for Papers – Workshop “Democracy and its Discontents” 24 May, Pavia


The Standing Group Political Regimes of the Italian Society of Political Science (SISP) organises a one-day workshop on Democracy and its Discontents at Università di Pavia (Pavia, Italy) on 24 May 2024. The morning session will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of new papers, whereas a round table will be organized during the afternoon with invited renowned scholars.

The workshop is intended to contribute to a deeper understanding of today’s attitudes towards democracy, discussing what citizens think about this form of regime, from its conceptualization (the meaning of democracy) to evaluations about its demand and supply sides (desire for and satisfaction with democracy). As a plethora of actors – such as political parties, grassroots movements, trade unions, professional organizations, supra-national units, and international powers – mediate these attitudes, the workshop is also interested in contributions that take stock of the complex and a-normative relationship that exists between citizens and democracy. Contributions exploring attitudes towards non-democracy and the conditions that make citizens satisfied with authoritarian regimes are also welcome. The results of the debate will inform about how strong today’s demand for democracy is, what factors influence its strength, and what implications this may have on the ongoing autocratization trend.

Accordingly, we welcome paper proposals addressing one or more research questions from the following (non-exhaustive) list: What makes up democracy? How strong is today’s demand for and satisfaction with democracy (and non-democracy)? Under which circumstances are citizens more likely to organize to defend democracy? What circumstances fuel dissatisfaction with democratic principles? How does democratic performance, in terms of institutional, developmental, and economic outcomes, affect these actors’ support for democracy?

Researchers who wish to participate are invited to submit their paper proposals (max 300 words) via email to Tiziana Corda ( and Gianni Del Panta ( by 14 March 2024. Only a limited number of papers will be selected and priority will be given to early-career researchers. Thanks to a grant of Società Italiana di Scienza Politica/Italian Society of Political Science (SISP), we can contribute to cover travel and accommodation for doctoral and post-doc researchers (the exact amount per person will depend on the number of eligible recipients).