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This workshop will be around the publication of Veit Bader and Marcel Maussen: 'Associative Democracy and the Crises of Representative Democracies (Routledge, 2023).'

Event details of Responding to the polycrises of democratic capitalism and representative democracies
24 November 2023
09:00 -18:00
B9.22 (Common Room Political Science)

This books primarily builds on Veit Bader’s contributions to democratic theory that reflect a research agenda of almost 40 years. It contributes to several highly topical ongoing discussions in democratic theory, comparative institutionalism, political science and policy sciences, and comparative law.

The aim of the book is to offer perspectives on ways of bringing discussions forward by acknowledging complexity, connecting scientific insights to normative theory, and by opting for institutional experimentalism.

During the workshop, this agenda is discussed in a setting that brings together scholars from different disciplines and/or program groups at the University of Amsterdam and within the AISSR and department of Political Science. The speakers and panel are invited to reflect on the ‘diagnoses’ and the ‘proposals’ articulated in the chapters of the book that are relevant to the session, but to also introduce their own research agenda in connection to these.

In doing so, the aim of Marcel Maussen en Veit Bader is to have discussions function as a springboard for further theoretical and empirical research and experimentation. And to strengthen the networks and knowledge about the research on these topics within the UvA and across the three program groups at the department of Political Science.



8.30-9.00 Coffee

9.00-9.30 Welcome and introduction

9.30 – 11.00 Session 1: Democracy and democratic theory in our age. Relevant chapters: 1 & 2. Chair: Kevin Pham.


  • Enzo Rossi Pessimism and Optimism in Empirically-Informed Democratic Theory
  • Nik de Boer Reflections on the idea of complex democracy
  • Sofia Wickberg  Throughput legitimacy in practice: studying the uses and effects of parliamentary ethics instruments

11.00-11.15 Coffee Break

11.15-12.45 Session 2: Renewing party democracy. Relevant chapter: 4. Chair: Marcel Maussen.


  • Floris Vermeulen Rethinking Dutch Parties Representing the Interests of Migrant-Origin Voters
  • Tom van de Meer  Alternativlos? Multiparty democracy and the necessity of choice
  • Conny Roggeband  The gendered implications of democratic backsliding

12.45-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.00 Session 3: Democracy and expertise. Relevant chapter: 3. Chair: Benno Netelenbos.  


  • Peter Tangney  Institutionalised consensus and the role of propositional knowledge in climate policy decision-making
  • Honorata Mazepus  Partisanship and democracy
  • Gianna Eick The expert citizen: Involving citizens in the policy-making process

15.00-15.15 Coffee

15.15-17.00 Session 4: Democratizing the public sector and alternatives to capitalism. Relevant chapters: 5 and 6. Chair: Franca van Hooren  


  • Imrat Verhoeven Democratic professionalism. How frontline workers can contribute to justice in urban governance
  • Femke Roosma  Towards a democratic welfare state; how can the welfare state renew from 'bottom up'
  • Lillian Cicerchia  Is Democratic Socialism a Utopia of the Middle Range?

17.00-18.00 Closing Drinks

About the authors

Veit Bader is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and of Social and Political Philosophy at the AISSR, University of Amsterdam, where he was also a member of the Institute of Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES). His research interests include critical political economy, critical social theory, social inequalities and collective action, democracy and the rule of law, legal theory, associative democracy, race, ethnicity and citizenship, multi-culturalism, ethics of migration and incorporation of minorities, global justice, and governance of religious diversity. He is author of several books, including Secularism or Democracy? Associational Governance of Religious Diversity (2007), and co-editor of Associative Democracy: The Real Third Way (Routledge, 2001), and Parties, Partisanship and Political Theory (Routledge, 2014). He has also led two European FP7 projects, RELIGARE (Religious Diversity and Models of Secularism in Europe 2009 - 2013) and ACCEPT (Tolerance, Pluralism and Cohesion 2009 - 2013).

Marcel Maussen is Associate Professor of Political Science at the AISSR, University of Amsterdam, where he is also a member of the Challenges to Democratic Representation program group. His research interests include the accommodation of religious diversity, particularly that of Islam, in Western Europe, democratic theory, and the governance of diversity, including issues related to free speech, non-discrimination and anti-racism He is the author of several journal articles and chapters in edited volumes and is co-editor of Legal Practice and Cultural Diversity (Routledge, 2009), Regulation of Speech in Multicultural Societies (Routledge, 2015), and Religious Schools in Europe: Institutional Opportunities and Contemporary Challenges (Routledge, 2016).


Roeterseilandcampus - building B/C/D (entrance B/C)

Room B9.22

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam