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Work structure

In answering these questions, we will conduct ground-breaking research on four key domains of democratic climate governance:

What systems of democratic governance enable and underpin fair, inclusive, and effective climate transitions?
How can responses to the climate crisis be used to strengthen and reinvigorate democratic governance?
Representative institutions
Representative institutions

We will investigate representative democratic institutions in climate governance at national and EU levels. This includes analysing climate targets in domestic legislation, scrutinising parliaments, and assessing interactions with social movements. We will develop a typology of innovations, map representative institutions, and conduct in-depth case studies.

Non majoritarian institutions
Non majoritarian institutions

Under the heading of non-majoritarian institutions, we will examine courts and climate advisory bodies in the EU. We will analyse the influence of courts on climate governance, utilising a comprehensive dataset on climate litigation. Additionally, we will assess the role and impact of expert advisory bodies at national and EU levels, including the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change.

Institutions for deliberative participation
Institutions for deliberative participation

We will study deliberative democracy through analysing diverse instances of climate assemblies and similar processes. This will involve analysing the impact and institutionalization of climate assemblies, assessing their influence on broader democratic governance, and investigating democratic experiments at the EU level.

Climate movements and activism
Climate movements and activism

We will explore climate movements' impact on democracy. This will include investigating historical environmental movements, studying contemporary climate movements' claims and emotions, and assessing the potential of climate movement organizations as incubators of democratic climate governance through democratic innovations and prefigurative democracy.

The key characteristics that we will research to understand their role in strengthening democratic climate governance are:
  • 01


    Participation by citizens in inclusive decision-making spaces, with a particular focus on gender and intersectional aspects to capture sections of society that are often neglected in decision-making.

  • 02


    Knowledge, ensuring that decision-making processes and outcomes are informed by diverse sources of robust evidence and information, including state-of-the-art science.

  • 03


    Justice, ensuring that decision-making is fair and equitable in terms of processes and outcomes.

  • 04


    Accountability, ensuring that decision-making is responsive to those actors affected by decisions.

  • 05


    Effectiveness, in terms of delivering climate transitions aligned with science-based goals for mitigation and adaptation.

Answering the aforementioned research questions, the expected outcomes of the project are to:
  1. Enhance the ability of democratic governance to address complex and long-term challenges.
  2. Enhance the capacity of democratic governance to mobilise and engage citizens through participation.
  3. Improve policymaking approaches through recommendations to address the climate imperative in a democratic manner. 
  4. Encourage international cooperation through better understanding of the supranational challenges of the climate crisis.
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