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OSUN Forum on Democracy & Development

The OSUN Forum on Democracy and Development project emerges at a particularly challenging moment for democracies. The tide of democratization experienced in the late 20th century has been reversed. Political rifts between the Global South and Global North are ever more palpable even as epochal challenges such as climate change would necessitate global collaboration to ensure our collective survival. The concept of democracy concentrates and catalyzes many of these contentions: mounting criticism points to limitations in conceptions of democracy which reduce it to a set of political institutions, failing to consider the interplay between a just distribution of economic resources and opportunities necessary for human dignity, individual and collective welfare, peace, security, and thriving political participation.

Taking stock of these unprecedented challenges, the OSUN Forum on Democracy & Development project aims to reimagine democracy in its political, social, and economic dimensions, creating a unique platform for an interdisciplinary and cross-regional exchange of ideas between scholars hailing from the Global South and Global North.

Building on the rich resources and collaborative capacities of the Open Society University Network (OSUN), the project is a platform for scientific and policy-relevant knowledge production, research incubation and curriculum development. The project provides a space for experts from the Americas, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Eurasia coming together to share their diverse experiences and expertise in varied disciplines such as Law, History, Economics, Political Science, or Anthropology.

Recognizing the complex interplay between the material distribution of resources and opportunities and democratic politics, the OSUN Forum on Democracy and Development proposes to rethink democracy in its political, economic and social dimensions across national and transnational scales.

This project is supported by the Open Society University Network.