Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy

The Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy explores the plurality of democratic experiences and aspirations in an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective.

It seeks to understand what ails democracies worldwide, focusing on the growing disenchantment of citizens with democratic political power, and on the shifts from liberal to illiberal democracy that increasingly blur the divide between the two. It develops projects that bridge theoretical and empirical research, academic and policy work.

Its activities include:

  • Research on the everyday practices of democratic politics, citizens’ aspirations and dissatisfactions with liberal values, institutions and elites. Building on the seminal insights of Albert O. Hirschman, research at the Centre explores changing forms of civic engagement  that produce new configurations of "voice" and "exit”

  • A series of public lectures, conferences and workshops organised and supported by the Centre

  • A series of PhD activities to foster interdisciplinary communities

The Centre promotes collaborative activities with academic institutions, international organisations as well as with partners in Geneva, in Switzerland and worldwide. It publishes and disseminates research for an academic readership, policy audiences, the media and the general public.

It was established in March 2017 with the generous support of the Gnosis Foundation (Liechtenstein).


Practical and contemporary relevance of his outstanding intellectual legacy

Upcoming events

SAVE THE DATE: 6 December 18:15 – 20:00

Debating the Facebook Oversight Board: What lessons for human rights protection and digital platform governance?

with Irene Khan, Maina Kiai, Nico Krisch and Marietje Schaake

Latest news

Our research themes

Discover the three core themes on which the Centre's research is organised


Read the new book by Patricia Spyer, available in open access

Disinformation and Freedom of Opinion and Expression

Read the report published by Irene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur and Distinguished Fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy