ERC Advanced Grant for Oliver Marchart

Political scientist Oliver Marchart receives an ERC Advanced Grant for a new groundbreaking research project on the democratization of democracy.

The funding program of the European Research Council (ERC) aims to facilitate and advance basic research with high innovation potential. This year, a total of four ERC Grants were awarded to scientists of the University of Vienna, among them Oliver Marchart from the Department of Political Science for the research project "How can democracy be democratized?".


The IPW congratulates Oliver Marchart, the Deputy Head of our Department and Head of the research area Political Theory!


How can our democracy be democratized?

Many things point to a crisis of liberal democracies - from the crisis of political representation to the rise of far-right populisms. This crisis is not least one of the political imagination. For as long as the fearful image of the "end of democracy" is before us, it is hard to imagine democratic alternatives to what many perceive as an unsatisfactory status quo. In the ERC project "Prefiguring Democratic Futures" by Oliver Marchart, alternative political institutions are being researched which, apart from the existing liberal democratic institutions, have the potential to promote the democratization of democracy. To this end, largely forgotten institutions are salvaged from the history of political ideas and examined for their actualizability in terms of democratic politics. Similarly, contemporary activist and artistic practices of inventing new and appropriating existing institutional formats will be analyzed. This empirical work is embedded in a democratic theory of political imagination that is to be newly developed.


About Oliver Marchart

Oliver Marchart has been Professor of Political Theory at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Vienna since 2016, which he also chaired from 2016 to 2018. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Vienna in 1999 and in Government from the University of Essex in 2003. Before moving to Vienna, he held the professorship of sociology at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and was SNF-funded research professor at the University of Lucerne, where he habilitated in philosophy and sociology. Research stays have taken him as a fellow to the Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall and the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (EHESS) in Paris, the Centre for Theoretical Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Essex, and the Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg at the Cluster of Excellence "Cultural Foundations of Integration" at the University of Konstanz, among others. 

Contact details

Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Oliver Marchart

Department of Political Science
1010 - Vienna, Universitätsstraße 7

Foto: Heribert Corn