Welcome on my website

I am working as a political scientist and professor (FH) at the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg and as a consultant for European universities, cities, regions and organisations. I give workshops and seminars on democracy, the prevention of polarisation, on democratic innovations, European Union, competences for a democratic culture etc.

Since 2001 I have been lecturer for various universities and study programmes with seminars and lectures on the topics of democracy, participation, the European Union, satire and politics, political theory, the future of the EU, citizenship education, social and democratic innovation etc.

I am an associate member of the UNESCO-Chair in Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism and Member of the Editorial Board of Comparative Political Theory.

My main research interests are democracy on all levels (local, regional, nation state, EU, global, workplace, schools etc.), polarisation, political participation, democratic and social innovation, history and future of the European Union and the political theory of Albert Camus.

Current projects:

REDE Resilience Through Education for Democratic Citizenship (funded by Council of Europe and EU-Commission) – Lead Partner

IcARUS Innovative Approaches to Urban Security (H2020) – Partner

CEDAR Continuing Education Against Radicalisation (Erasmus Plus) – Partner

RAD2CITIZEN Extremism, radicalisation and citizenship – Partner

PRACTICIES Partnership Against Violent Radicalisation in Cities – Partner

BRIDGE Building resilience to reduce polarisation and extremism – external expert

LOUD Local Young Leaders for Inclusion – external expert

On this website you will find information about my projects and publications in English and German.

In my work on democracy, I assume that human beings strive for freedom, but at the same time harbor a need for security and conformity. Democracy as a form of government and as a form of life or interaction must first and foremost allow for the equal freedom of individuals. Being able to revolt and say no without being sanctioned, to engage in dissent and dialogue, and to express doubt and criticism are the essential prerequisites for democracy. These preconditions are institutionalized in democratic states and organizations through parliaments or other bodies and are regarded in the interpersonal sphere as characteristics of equal and domination-free communication. Their opposite are dictatorial, authoritarian forms of governance or interpersonal interaction. One of my theses in this regard is that we do not find an adequate and sufficient translation of democratic principles in our everyday life, in schools, at the workplace and so on.

I set out the basic assumptions in several articles (LEVIATHAN 2014, INDES 2018 and THEORIA 2019) and in my book Demokratie als Revolte (NOMOS).

The political thinking of French philosopher and writer Albert Camus, who died in 1960, offers the basis for a redefinition of democracy that is linked to and dependent on rebellion. From his reflections, a radical theory of democracy can be derived that is based on the absurdity of the world, its incompleteness, revolt and resistance to authoritarianism, on doubt, dialogue and foreignness.

In my work as a consultant, I try to concretise these thoughts and link it to practical issues, to the analysis and prevention of anti-democratic phenomena, to democratic innovations and citizenship education. See more on the other pages.

 

COST-Action Deliberative Democracy and Constitution Making:

„In Europe and across the world, several countries are turning to deliberative democracy to reform their constitutions, and in many others this question is high on the political agenda. Such transformation also shuffles quite radically the role of the citizenry regarding constitutional changes. Traditionally such changes are the sole responsibility of elected officials, in collaboration with experts. With the deliberative turn, many more actors may be involved in the designing of constitutions: citizens both individually and collectively in the forms of informal associations, social movements, civil society organisations, participatory consultants and research teams. The Main Aim of the Action is to bring together all these actors – who are usually not in contact – to discuss and reflect on this democratic challenge, not only in terms of normative ideals but also and above all on the empirical challenges raised by this complex and multi-faceted democratic transformation.“ (from the website, link see below)

Because the focus of ConstDeb is on constitutions and deliberative democracy, the Action itself as a network is intended to work in a deliberative fashion.

See also website COST-ACTION

UNESCO Network on PREVENTION of EXTREMISM and VIOLENT RADICALISATION

See also website UNESCO-CHAIR

Ich bin in mehreren laufenden Projekten im Bereich Demokratie, Extremismusprävention u.a. auf europäischer Ebene tätig. Die Projektliste wird immer wieder aktualisiert.

PRACTICIES: Partnership against violent radicalization in the cities

EU-Projekt (Horizon2020); Forschungsprojekt mit über 20 Partnern aus 9 Ländern zum Thema Prävention von anti-demokratischem Extremismus und Deradikalisierung. Nähere Informationen auf der Website der FH Salzburg

Lebensqualität und Innovation im Bundesland Salzburg (FH Salzburg; Projektleiter)

Forschungsprojekt der FH Salzburg, gefördert vom Bundesland Salzburg, zur Entwicklung einer Indikatorik für regionales Well-Being und Innovation, 2014-2016. Nähere Informationen finden Sie hier.

Zukunft der Migration (FH Salzburg; Projektleiter)

Forschungsprojekt der FH Salzburg, im Auftrag des Österreichischen Bundesministeriums für Inneres (Migrationsrat unter Vorsitz von Prof. Paul Lendvai), 2015. Der Bericht des Migrationsrates mit den Auszügen aus der Studie findet sich hier.

Politische Partizipation im Bundesland Salzburg (FH Salzburg; Koordination des Arbeitspakets)

Arbeitspaket des ZfZ-Projekts Salzburg 2025, gefördert vom Bundesland Salzburg, 2011-2014.

WOMIG: Die Wohnsituation von Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund im Bundesland Salzburg (FH Salzburg; Projektleiter)

Forschungsprojekt, gefördert von der AK Salzburg, 2014.

The Future of Europe

Eigenprojekt: Studie zu den Europawahlen und Zukunfts-Szenarien der Europäischen Union, u. a. mit einer Umfrage unter EU-Abgeordneten zu den Themen Demokratisierung und Sozialpolitik in Europa. Herausgabe eines Special Issue des European Journal of Futures Research: www.ejfr.eu, 2014.

MMWD: Making Migration Work for Development (FH Salzburg, Coordinator Work Package 3)

EU-Projekt mit Szenarien über die demographische Entwicklung und die Integration von MigrantInnen in den Regionen Südosteuropas, von Österreich über Italien und den Balkan bis Griechenland. Erstellung von Migrations- und Policy-Szenarien für die Stadt Wien, 2012-2014.

Evaluationsprojekt Gesundes Salzburg 2010 (FH Salzburg)

Evaluation des Projekts Gesundes Salzburg 2010 (Projektleitung: AVOS, gef. vom Fonds Gesundes Österreich), 2008 – 2010.

Evaluationsprojekt Fit fürs Leben (FH Salzburg)

Evaluation des Projekts Fit fürs Leben (Projektleitung ASKÖ, gef. vom Fonds Gesundes Österreich), 2009 – 2010.

The Referenda on the European Constitution (EIF, Österr. Akademie der Wissenschaften; Projektleiter)

Forschungsprojekt am Institut für Europäische Integrationsforschung der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, gefördert vom BMWF, 2004 – 2006.

EUFLEX – Flexible Integration im Bereich GASP/ESVP (Universität Salzburg, Projektmitarbeiter)

Forschungsprojekt der Universität Salzburg und des Instituts für Europäische Integrationsforschung der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2004.