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Topical Collection: Futures of Democracy

Call for Papers

The European Journal of Futures Research (EJFR) invites scholars to submit articles in a topical collection on “Futures of Democracy”.

Guest editors: Markus Pausch, Austria (Fachhochschule Salzburg); Christophe Bisson, France (SKEMA); Erik F. Øverland, Oslo/Berlin/Paris (WFSF)

Since 2005, we have seen a global decline in the number of democracies. Even established and old democracies are no longer immune from tipping over into authoritarian regimes. These developments call for a topical collection of the European Journal for Futures Research to take a closer look at the futures of democracy.

The emergence of democracy is well researched. In the 1990s, Samuel Huntington described the waves we have seen since the early 19th century. Each of these waves was followed by a setback in the number of democracies, but it never fell behind the level of the previous wave. The crisis of democracy and its subsystems that we have been observing for some years (cf. Wolfgang Merkel 2019) seems unique in its multidimensionality, part of which are a loss of trust in the political parties and institutions of representative democracy, the rise of authoritarian populists, the possibilities of surveillance through new technologies, new forms of communication in social media with the associated phenomena of hate speech and radicalisation etc. Yet, social media are based on powerful algorithms that filter data and enclose people into a ‘bubble’ (Pariser, 2011).

Furthermore, fake news are augmented by technologies that render gradually more difficult to differentiate truth to lie. Consequently, many studies have been written on the end of democracy in recent years (Ziblatt/Levitsky 2018). Democracy is fragile and the covid19 crisis, unpreparedness of many governments for such pandemic in spite of the calls of futurists have strengthened populism paradoxically as a call for more collective decisions. Under these circumstances, citizenship education including technological education is a very important task for future generations.

This topical collection of the journal calls for submissions explicitly dedicated to the futures of democracy in its various facets.

The following topics are of interest:

  • A listing of main contemporary uncertainties and challenges regarding democratic sustainability.
  • Effects of new media on democracy. 
  • Possibilities, forms and functions of democratic innovations. 
  • The role and emergence of social movements such as Friday for Futures FFF, Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy - SEALDX or others. 
  • Relationship of citizens' councils to classical institutions of democracy? Futures of Citizenship Education and technological educationDemocratization of the European Union. 
  • Democratization at the global level (WHO, UN...)
  • The role of Futures Research and Foresight as responses to these challenges
  • Early Warning System to address threats to democracy such as fake news and deep fakes

In the EJFR we want to explore these issues by going beyond conventional prognoses, trend descriptions and contemporary foresight approaches.

We are therefore delighted to invite you to take part in our Call for Papers, which should highlight the issues described above, but which could be illustrated from concrete projects at regional, national and transnational level. We are open to a wide range of fields and topics. However, topics discussed should be relevant to European and international readers.

Abstracts should contain between 100 and 150 words and should list keywords.

Please note: Contributions to the EJFR must be in  English  and  should  not  exceed 7,000 words including references. We appreciate manuscripts that are professionally proofread. All articles will be subject to double-blind peer review.


We welcome abstracts as from now until 30 March 2021 at the latest.

15 April 2021:               Notification of selected abstracts

15 July 2021:                Papers due

15 August 2021:           Notification of results of peer review 15 

September 2021:          Revised papers due

15 October 2021:          Publication online

For  further  information  about  the  “Aims  and  Scope”  of  the  EJFR  as  well  as  for  the

“Instructions for Authors” please visit our website:

Please send abstracts and/or enquiries to:     AND