Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences

Democracy and transformation

The focus of research and teaching in this area is on an analysis of the interaction between players and institutions within democratic regimes and self-transforming systems. There is a particular focus on formation conditions, function logic, legitimation and change to political institutions, and the impact of institutions on key players’ behaviour and on the performance and quality of democracy. This includes a comparative analysis of deficiencies and crises in established democracies, as well as an investigation of political transformation processes across the entire continuum, from stable autocracies to hybrid systems right up to new democracies. Comparative democracy research takes a problem-centred approach to  all aspects of the political process (voting and citizen participation, representation of interests, public and  parliamentary opinion-forming, and government) and all levels of key players, including democratic participation in multi-level systems at a global level. From a geographical perspective, the work concentrates on the focal area of intraregional and interregional comparisons between political systems in  Western, Central and Eastern Europe and  the Islamic world, but also incorporates other global areas where relevant.


Here you can find current research projects on democracy and transformation.

Research areas

German Politics

Prof. Dr. Jochen Müller

Comparative politics

Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer

Comparative Political Behavior

Prof. Dr. Heike Klüver


Democracy and democratization

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels

International Politics

Prof. Dr. Anselm Hager

Political Sociology and Social Policy

Prof. Dr. Hanna Schwander

Comparative Political Sciences and Political Systems of Eastern Europe

Prof. Dr. Silvia von Steinsdorff