An-Institut der Stiftung Weltethos
an der Universität Tübingen

First slide

Redesigning Democracy for Climate Change? Strategies of Democracy Policy

Adobe Stock
DozentInDr. Christopher Gohl
VeranstaltungsartWöchentliches Seminar, Masterveranstaltung
Wochentag/ UhrzeitDienstags, 16.00-18.00 Uhr c.t., Beginn: 16.04.2024
Ort          Weltethos-Institut, Hintere Grabenstraße 26, 72070 Tübingen, Seminarraum EG

Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Vorkenntnisse, Interesse an Sozial- und Organisationspsychologie
Leistungsnachweis/ Prüfungsform
Aktive Teilnahme, Präsentation, Hausarbeit 

AnmeldungPer E-Mail – mit Angabe von Name, Matrikelnummer, Studienfach und Semesterzahl, Adresse, Geburtsort und -datum an
Anmeldefrist10. April 2024
Max. Teilnehmendenzahl20


  • WBGU (2011). World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability. WBGU: Flagship Report 2011.
  • Boston, J. (2016). Governing for the Future: Designing Democratic Institutions for a Better Tomorrow. Emerald Group Publishing.
  • Smith, Graham. 2021. Can Democracy Safeguard the Future? Medford, MA: Polity Press.
  • Brechin, S. R., & Lee, S. (2023). Will Democracy Survive Climate Change?. In Sociological Forum.


Climate change presents a unique challenge to liberal democracies. Impacts of climate change threaten the future way of peaceful life in pluralistic democracies. Yet, governments that enact stringent policies in line with the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement often encounter a strong backlash. Failure to implement effective climate measures, on the other hand, threatens to erode the legitimacy of democracies and potentially lead to their decline. To navigate this predicament, experts have long proposed measures of institutional redesign and democratic empowerment, enhancing the capacity for resilient and responsible democratic action in the face of climate change.

This seminar invites an open inquiry into strategies of updating liberal democracies to meet the challenges of climate change. It bridges two critical discourses: the interdisciplinary study of the political dimension of sustainable development, and the nascent field of “democracy policy“ which seeks to revitalize institutions, processes, and public cultures of democratic polities. We aim to examine how democratic systems can not only reform existing structures but also galvanize the collective efforts of all stakeholders to implement effective climate policies from the local to the global level. Together, we will amalgamate diverse perspectives, ideas, and recommendations into a comprehensive White Paper tentatively titled „Democracy Policy for Climate Change,“ targeted at informing and guiding political decision-makers.