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Transregional Center for Democratic Studies


Building on the interdisciplinary tradition of

this reason, TCDS welcomes as partners and

NSSR, the Transregional Center for Democratic

collaborators scholars who are involved in public

Studies (TCDS) creates and implements cross-

life and in efforts to strengthen civil society.

departmental programs aimed at addressing

TCDS’s activities provide a solid link between

special needs and opportunities for research

the New School campus in New York and

and graduate or advanced undergraduate

two regions of the world: eastern Europe

study that can promote better understanding

and southern Africa, both sites of ongoing

of the world. TCDS cultivates research on the

democratic transformations and places that

increasingly globalized public sphere and the

reveal the vulnerability of democracy to illiberal

emergence of autonomous publics and nurtures

solutions and even violence. TCDS’s initiatives

a new kind of citizen-researcher concerned

have led to the emergence of extensive scholarly

with the ways society, embedded in a specific

networks in these regions, bringing young

cultural and historical context, debates and

scholars and civically committed academics

seeks solutions to shared problems.

together with NSSR graduate students.

The center’s programs (public events,

Our flagship programs are the region-based

workshops, conferences, and summer institutes

Democracy & Diversity Institutes, held annually

conducted in New York City and abroad)

in Johannesburg, South Africa (January), and

facilitate study, research, and debates on the

Wrocław, Poland (July). The institutes are

challenges of democracy and democratization

intensive three-week programs of study in

and the related issues of development,

which up to 40 young civic-minded scholars

citizenship, and intercultural conversation

engage through discussion and debate in a

in a globalized world. The programs are also

rigorous quest for a deeper and more nuanced

aimed at building bridges between academic

understanding of the challenges to democracy

research and the “real” world of democratic

in the contemporary world.

practice, where policies and local strategies are designed and civic innovation comes to life. For

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