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Inequalities and Democracy

Research profile

The workgroup explores contemporary politics of inequality in Europe and beyond. We examine political and policy formations that address and shape inequality mechanisms and social hierarchies based on gender, class, ethnicity, race, ability, and human mobility and their intersections. Research in the workgroup pursues case based as well as comparative inquiries that connect these wider equality, social justice, and social policy agendas with outstanding democracy, de- and re-democratization puzzles. Research addresses among others:

  • old and new agendas in human rights based emancipatory struggles in times of crisis and crisis management;
  • the challenges and potentials of civil society participation in facilitating more inclusive democratic politics;
  • the (re)production of inequalities and social exclusion in authoritarian and de-democratizing regimes;
  • the emergence of new forms of social solidarity in urban, domestic, and transnational contexts in times of democratic crisis.

A wide range of methodological approaches are applied and combined including qualitative, interpretive, ethnographic, participatory, as well as quantitative, bigdata based and mixed methods.

The workgroup researchers possess contextual knowledge and have access to relevant scholarly networks in Latin America, the Middle East, Turkey, and India in addition to our deep familiarity with different parts of Europe, Central and South-East Europe, and select post-Soviet states and societies.

Research agendas for 2022/23

During academic year 2022/23, the workgroup will devote specific attention to linkages between the politics of socio-economic and distributive inequalities, their intersections with other social inequality grounds, and the contestation of democracy. This will include:

  • strategic profiling of the already accumulated knowledge on social inequalities enacted through gender, ethnic, racial, ability and human mobility based social hierarchies and political mechanisms. To this end, we are organizing academic discussions and events to unpack the nexus of socio-economic inequalities and political polarization, spatial processes of distributive struggles and exclusions intersecting with gender, ethnic, racial, ability and mobility based hierarchies;
  • scholarly exchanges with other workgroups of the Democracy Institute. Cooperation is explored with the De(re)democratization WG in connection to the two new Horizon Europe funded democracy research projects (AUTHLIB, CCINDLE). Cooperation is ongoing with the History WG in regard to history of ideas on social justice and inclusive politics, avenues of democratization through participation, legal struggles for empowerment and disempowerment of selected social groups, among other topics.

Inequalities Seminar, list of past events

Publications by research group members: 2022-23 / 2021-22 / 2020-21



Andrea Krizsan Lead Researcher / Senior Research Fellow / CEU Professor
Zsuzsanna Arendas Research Affiliate
Abel Beremenyi Research Affiliate
Andrew Cartwright Research Fellow / CEU Associate Professor
Cansu Civelek Post-doctoral Fellow
Cristina Corduneanu-Huci Research Affiliate / CEU Associate Professor
Anil Duman Research Affiliate / CEU Professor
Olena Fedyuk Research Affiliate
Anna Fejos Junior Research Affiliate
Dorottya Fekete Junior Research Affiliate
Roland Ferkovics Co-Manager and Policy Officer
Eva Fodor Research Affiliate / CEU Professor / CEU Pro-Rector
Ruth Gazso Candlish Research Affiliate
Marek Hojsik Senior Project Manager
Eszter Horvath Research Assistant
Agnes Kende Research Fellow
Dana McKelvey Research Affiliate
Vera Messing Research Fellow
Gabor Petri OSUN Post-doctoral Fellow
Eszter Polgari Research Affiliate
Laura Rahm Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow
Dorottya Redai Research Affiliate
Leyla Safta-Zecheria Research Affiliate
Mirjam Sagi Post-doctoral Fellow
Eva Schwab OSUN Post-doctoral Fellow
Bernadett Sebaly Junior Research Affiliate
Julia Szabo Research Assistant
Julia Szalai Senior Research Affiliate / CEU Professor
Violetta Zentai Senior Research Fellow / CEU Professor


Opening: Post-doctoral Researcher in Horizon Europe RAISE Project (f/m/d)

The CEU Democracy Institute invites applications for a part-time Post-doctoral Researcher position within the framework of the Horizon Europe research project RAISE.

Opening: Post-doctoral Researcher for the Inequalities and Democracy Working Group

The CEU Democracy Institute (DI) in Budapest invites applications for a 2-year position as a Post-doctoral Researcher at the research group on Inequalities and Democracy. Application deadline: March 30, 2024.

Former and Current DI Affiliates Receive CEU PhD Awards

We are happy to share that three of our current and former research affiliates, Ruth Gazso Candlish, Daragh John Hamilton and Anna Eva Grutza are among the recipients of the 2024 CEU Phd Awards.

Andrea Krizsan Participates in CFR Roundtable on Democratic Regression and the Backlash Against Gender Equality and Women’s Rights

The Lead Researcher of our Inequalities and Democracy Working Group Andrea Krizsan participated in a Council on Foreign Relations Roundtable on democratic regression and the rollback of gender equality.

Gábor Petri, Erika Hruskó: A fogyatékosügyi mozgalom részvétele a szakpolitikákban 1998 óta Magyarországon (The participation of the the disabled people’s movement in policy making since 1998 in Hungary)

A new paper by our former OSUN Post-doctoral Fellow Gábor Petri and Erika Hruskó has been published in the Hungarian journal Szociológiai Szemle, discussing the participation of the disabled people’s movement in policy-making since 1998 in Hungary.


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.