Reconstructing Democracy in Times of Crisis: A Voter-Centred Perspective (REDEM) is a Horizon 2020 project funded under the Governance topic of the European Commission’s Societal Challenge program Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies. The project includes 10 partner institutions and is coordinated by Centre for Political Research at Sciences Po (CEVIPOF).
Elections are supposed to legitimise governments. However, it is elections themselves whose legitimacy seems to be in question. Voters are increasingly unwilling to vote, even at national elections and, when they do, are attracted to parties whose stated platforms and appeal seem flatly at odds with democratic norms of freedom and equality. These developments raise a question-mark over the long-term capacity of elections to legitimize political institutions and policies in Europe.
A response to the crisis of legitimacy surrounding democratic elections needs to understand the ethical dimensions of voting as these present themselves to citizens as voters. The general goal of REDEM, therefore, is to create a network of normative political theorists as well as of social scientific and non-academic experts on electoral democracy and voting behaviour in order to develop a voter-centred perspective on the ethics of voting. This voter-centred perspective on voting will offer novel approaches to diagnosing and ameliorating the problems of representative democracy in Europe.