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Inequalities and Democracy

Challenges to democratic rule are intimately interlinked with individual access to democratic institutions, value formation, and articulation of needs. Research in this area will focus on the intersecting inequalities along the lines of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, migration status, as well as processes of group and identity formation.  It will investigate the causes of these inequalities at the local and global levels and their consequences for social inclusion, political participation and democratic governance. The group will also address questions of citizenship through the study of migration patterns, policies and outcomes, spatial and regional disparities, as well as the construction and deconstruction of the concept of national and internal “borders”. We will examine inequalities reflected in and generated by social policies and their relationship to different types of governance regimes, along with their impact on the political capacity of marginalized groups.  

A separate workstream will focus on questions of gender and democracy, exploring the use of gender in patterns of democratic governance as well as the consequences of gender regimes for inequalities, mobilization and social and political inclusion.   

The workgroup will further investigate the use of new democratic techniques, such as participatory budgeting or deliberative and digital decision-making, from the point of view of the inclusive translation of social demands into public policies. 

In this area, we will build on the body of research on equality and social justice, governance and participation, social policy and welfare regimes, and development policy at the Center for Policy Studies, which has become part of the CEU Democracy Institute.


Éva Fodor


Lead Researcher / Co-director / CEU Professor

Zsuzsanna Arendas


Research Fellow

Abel Beremenyi


Research Affiliate

Andrew Cartwright


Research Fellow / CEU Associate Professor

Cansu Civelek   Research Fellow

Cristina Corduneanu-Huci


CEU Research Affiliate / CEU Associate Professor

Michael Dorsch


CEU Research Affiliate / CEU Associate Professor

Anil Duman


CEU Research Affiliate / CEU Associate Professor

Lilla Farkas   Research Affiliate
Olena Fedyuk   Research Affiliate

Anna Fejos


Research Affiliate

Dorottya Fekete


Junior Research Fellow

Roland Ferkovics   Policy Officer

Adrienn Győry


Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Marek Hojsik


Policy Officer

Agnes Kende


Junior Research Affiliate

Andrea Krizsan


Senior Research Fellow / CEU Professor

Julius-Cezar MacQuarie   Research Affiliate

Inna Melnykovska


CEU Research Affiliate / CEU Assistant Professor

Vera Messing


Research Fellow

Andras Molnar


Junior Research Fellow

Peter Rado


Research Affiliate

Laura Rahm   Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow

Dorottya Rédai


Research Fellow

Leyla Safta-Zecheria   Research Affiliate
Bernadett Sebály   Research Affiliate

Julia Szalai


Senior Research Affiliate / CEU Professor

Dorottya Szikra


Research Fellow

Georgiana Turculet   Research Affiliate

Zsuzsa Vidra


Research Fellow

Viola Zentai


Research Fellow




Zsuzsa Vidra, Michael Zeller: Illiberalism, Polarization, Social Resilience, and Resistance

“Illiberal regimes undermine human rights norms that entail equal legal protections of citizens and social groups,” our Research Fellow Zsuzsa Vidra and Michael Zeller, researcher of DI’s BRaVE project write in their article in Intersections.

Zsuzsanna Arendas, Sara Hungler: The Level Playing Field of Hungarian Social Partners Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

“For numerous reasons, social dialogue in Hungary generally does not fulfil its role on the national, sectoral, or workplace level,” our Research Fellow Zsuzsanna Arendas and Sara Hungler (Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest) write in their article in Intersections.

Peter Rado on the Decline of Public Education in Hungary

If we have hoped so far to be able to cling to the inner periphery of the developed world in the longer term, then it may be time to reconsider, our Research Affiliate Peter Rado writes in his article in Portfolio.

Peter Rado on Schools in Small Towns and Villages

The state of small schools in villages is a constant element of education policy debates in Hungary, our Research Affiliate Peter Rado writes in his article in Portfolio.

Eva Fodor: The Gender Regime of Anti-Liberal Hungary

The open access book, a first attempt at describing key elements of the gender regime of illiberal rule, explores the social — not merely the political — consequences of illiberalism.


Dorottya Redai on the Book Project "Fairyland is for Everyone"

Dorottya Redai talks about "Fairyland is for Everyone," a volume containing fairy tales by contemporary authors with diverse characters from various marginalized or disadvantaged groups.

Systemic Racism against Roma in Hungary

An animated film about the systemic racism against the Roma in Hungary, written by Visiting Researcher Agnes Kende puts the social exclusion of the Roma people in historical context.

Illiberalism, Democracy, Gender

What is the connection between the discourse on gender and the crisis of democracy? Moderated by Eva Fodor, the Co-Director of CEU Democracy Institute, Andrea Krizsan (CEU/DI) and Dorottya Szikra (Hungarian Academy of Sciences/CEU) discussed during the Researchers’ Night 2020 the role of gender in today’s politics and policymaking.