A Democratic Ethos for Democracy Research

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in Heyne, Lea and Ewert, Christian (eds.) (2022): PhD Confessions: From Democracy Scholars, Students, and Supporters, Norderstedt: BoD, p.41–46. I always had a strong sense of social justice. In school, I was known for defending less popular kids and standing up to bullies. When I started studying political science at the University of Vienna, I was looking for a “political home.” Although I engaged with subjects such as the political economy or the social state, it wasn’t until I came across radical democratic thinking that I felt like I had arrived. Strangely, it took a long time for me to realize the deep gap between these radical democratic convictions and the academic structures and practices within which I studied them. In other words, I was taught about equality in the midst of hierarchy. Academia appears as an exclusive black box, who admits only a select group of people, which first must pass a series of gatekeepers. Academia works according to neoliberal capitalist principles which stage an increasingly gamified competition between researchers. The system disciplines its participants into thinking and acting in a particular way. As a result, the knowledge produced through academia is rather uniform.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhD Confessions
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Democracy Scholars, Students, and Supporters
EditorsLea Heyne, Christian Ewert
Place of PublicationNorderstedt
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783756241125
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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