Laboratory for Active Citizenship and Democratic Innovations focus on research of institutional and extra-institutional participation of citizens. ActiveLab explore different models of participatory, deliberative and agonistic democracy and their relevance for the development of a democratic society.

 

ActiveLab is an interdisciplinary research group that explores and promotes democratic innovations and citizen participation. It brings together experts and researchers from various fields, such as political science, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and communication. The lab is designed to facilitate innovative research that aims to understand, analyze, and enhance democratic processes and citizen engagement. 

ActiveLab’s research agenda is focused on two wide areas of research. Members of the lab explore participatory, agonistic, and deliberative forms of democracy. Its researchers are particularly interested in understanding how new citizen participation models can help bridge the gap between public officials and ordinary citizens and give people a greater say in the decisions that affect their lives. Along with the focus on democratic innovations, a significant part of our research is focused on various forms of citizen participation ranging from protest politics to the impact of social movements and community-based initiatives on political processes. In their research, laboratory members employ quantitative and qualitative methodologies that help them fully grasp the two focal points of the lab’s research. 

The lab organizes seminars, workshops, and conferences that bring together scholars, policymakers, activists, and the general public to discuss new ideas and share best practices. ActiveLab has extensive project experience and collaboration with European centers in the same field. Finally, ActiveLab strongly focuses on outreach, seeking to contribute to developing a more vibrant, inclusive, and participatory space for citizens in Serbia, the Western Balkans, and beyond. 

The Lab has led the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Network – Active citizenship: promoting and advancing innovative democratic practices in the Western Balkans, bringing first Citizens Assemblies to Serbia. The project Take the City into Your Own Hands: the Outlines of Citizen Participation was designed to promote the principles of democracy, especially focusing on models of civic participation at the level of local communities. ActiveLab is a partner on the Horizons 2020 project EnTrust: Enlightened trust: An examination of trust and distrust in governance – conditions, effects and remedies focused on the examination of citizen trust and distrust in governance, and Horizons Europe projects Nets4Dem: Network of Networks 4 Democracy with the task to compile and profile the EU-funded corpus of knowledge on democratic innovations.

Laboratory for Active Citizenship and Democratic Innovations aims to

  • establish a formally recognizable center within the Institute that would conduct empirical and theoretical multidisciplinary research, enabling the development of a rich database;
  • improve and disseminate knowledge and develop international cooperation in the field of participatory models of democracy and civic political engagement;
  • provide policy-making support through the importance of participatory models of democracy and civic political engagement for the democratization of society;
  • improve exchange and cooperation between academia, civil society and decision makers;

 

In line with these goals, the Laboratory for Active Citizenship and Democratic Innovations is implementing the following research projects:

EnTrust – Enlightened trust: An examination of trust and distrust in governance – conditions, effects and remedies
Jean Monnet Network: Promoting and Advancing Innovative Democratic Practices in the Western Balkans (2018-2021) 
Disobedient Democracy: A Comparative Analysis of Contentious Politics in European Semi-periphery (2016-2021).
Learning Democratic Participation 
European Social Survey (2017- ) 
Take the City into Your Own Hands: the basics of Citizen Participation (2018-2019) 
Mapping Political Landscape in Serbia (2017)