Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Please read my empirical work on the many and diverse meanings of democracy.

There are numerous opportunities for cutting-edge research in this approach to studying democracy.

Some examples of concrete doctoral thesis projects include studying: Berliner democracy, Torontonian democracy, Macanese democracy, San Marinese democracy, Montenegrin democracy (etc.,); pink democracy, white democracy, black democracy (etc.,); Hayekian democracy, Schmittian democracy, Habermasian democracy (etc.,).


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Jean-Paul Gagnon is a philosopher of democracy specializing in democratic theory. He joined the University of Canberra at the beginning of July, 2015.

He co-founded, and co-edits, the Berghahn (Oxford/New York) journal Democratic Theory and established, and now co-edits, the Palgrave Macmillan book series The Theories, Concepts and Practices of Democracy (both with Mark Chou from the Australian Catholic University).

Gagnon’s research into democracy is driven by three programs. The first is an ongoing empirical effort to catalog democracy’s adjectives – so far 1,217 have been found in the English literature – and to inquire about what knowing these adjectives may come to mean or be used for. The second is to continue contributing to the theory of non-human democracy by trying to draw lessons for human democracies from the practices of non-human others (e.g. how do different non-human species solve collective action problems and what, from this, resonates with the theory or practice of democracy today?). The third is to contribute to globalising the history of democracy from a democratic theory perspective which interacts with what John Keane, Benjamin Isakhan, Yves Schemeil, Steve Muhlberger and Phil Paine, and Martin Bernal, among others, have been doing. 

His recent publications and interests span democracy's many histories (forgotten democracies, narrative, comparison, discourse analysis, epistemology, is democracy even human?), finding ways forward among a number of problems or puzzles that democracies presently face (democracies across dialogues; democracy education / civics and young people, democracy apps, critical and normative arguments, political reform), and critically theorizing the futures of democracy – those ‘democracies to come’ (Isaiah Berlin, fiction, posthumanism, futurism, normative arguments, Anthropocene / Holocene democracy).

Please contact for:
- Research collaboration
- PhD, Master's, Honour's supervision
- Advocacy

To view Jean-paul's The Conversation profile, please click here.

Related Links

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Improving Governance: Practical Methods and an Analytic Framework for the Enhancement of Democracy, Queensland University of Technology


Award Date: 1 Oct 2023

External positions

Steering Committee Chair, European Consortium of Political Research's Research Network on The Sciences of the Democracies

2023 → …

Editor, The Annual Review for the Sciences of the Democracies (Amsterdam University Press)

2023 → …

Editor, Democratic Theory

1 Jan 2014 → …

Book series editor, Palgrave Macmillan

1 Jan 2013 → …

My gallery


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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