Democracy Monitoring

Research question/goal: 

Democracy monitoring aims to collect and to analyse empirical data in order to assess systematically the functioning of democracy and to identify possibilities for improvements. It is based on a detailed description of democratic attitudes and participatory orientations of citizens, as well as their assessments of the functioning of democracy. For that purpose usually two complementary instruments are used: representative surveys among the population (aged 15 and older) and focus group discussions on specific themes (understanding of democracy, expectations on municipal politics, performance assessments, etc.). The main goals of the project are (1) collecting data for a systematic evaluation of the functioning of democracy, (2) developing explanations for differences, and (3) analysing the quality of democracy based regional, national and international comparison, as well as European comparisons (using data from the most recent wave of the ESS). The project includes the Democracy Audit Mannheim (DAMA) and the Citizen and Democracy in Baden-Württemberg (BDBaWü).

Current stage: 

Field work for the sub-project ’Citizens and Democracy in Baden-Württemberg 2016/17’ (BDBaWü) was concluded in January 2017. In January 2017, first results on the backgrounds and motives of supporting the ’Alternative für Deutschland’ (AfD) were presented to the CDU Baden-Württemberg. Further analyses on supporting the AfD were presented in September at the University of Ulm during the 16th conference of the specialist group social psychology of the German Association for Psychology as well as at the University of Mannheim’s ‘Schlossfest’ at the. Also in September, an extensive analysis on the determinants of supporting the AfD was published in the ’Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft’.

Moreover, in February, first results on political support and participation in Baden-Württemberg were presented to a broader audience at the participation congress Baden-Württemberg ’Viel<mehr<gemeinsam’ in Esslingen am Neckar. Further analyses on political support in Baden-Württemberg were presented at the workshop ’Citizen and Democracy’ at the University of Zurich.

In 2018, an overview of the first results will be presented to the Baden-Württemberg foundation. Extensive analyses will be published in a joint book publication with the other sub-projects of the democracy monitoring Baden-Württemberg 2016/17

Fact sheet

Funding: 
City of Mannheim; Baden-Württemberg Stiftung
Duration: 
2012 to 2018
Status: 
ongoing
Data Sources: 
Representative surveys (CATI), focus groups
Geographic Space: 
City of Mannheim; State of Baden-Württemberg

Publications

Books

van Deth, Jan W. (Ed.) (2014): Demokratie in der Großstadt: Ergebnisse des ersten Mannheimer Demokratie Audit. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. more