Are we in DANGER?
Does political violence trigger democratic breakdown? What can political elites do to confront radical, anti-democratic forces? Do encompassing pro-democratic coalitions successfully defeat violent enemies of democracy? These questions are at the core of the “Democracy, Anger, and Elite Responses” (DANGER) project. Funded by the European Research Council, the project will answer these questions by studying the challenges to democracy in Europe’s interwar period (1919-1939). The project team uses on computational methods to collect information from historical sources on political violence and elite strategies to counter threats to democracy. Building on these data, the project team develops quantitative models to assess the risk of democratic breakdown faced by contemporary democracies.
Nils-Christian Bormann is a political scientist at Witten/Herdecke University and the principal investigator (PI) of the DANGER project. He coordinates project activities and is the lead researcher. His regional expertise within the project focuses on Scandinavia and the Baltics during the interwar period. His broader research interests include the sources of political instability, group-based inequalities, and conflict resolution.
Lea Kaftan is the DANGER project’s post-doctoral researcher at Witten/Herdecke University. She coordinates and collects data on parties, governments and political violence in interwar Europe. Her regional focus is on the Benelux countries, Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. She furthermore studies democratic backsliding and party politics.
Bruno Della Sala is a PhD student at Witten/Herdecke University and researcher in the DANGER project. His regional expertise within the project focuses on South-Western Europe during the interwar period. His broader research interests include international relations, causes of conflict, and autocratization.
Stefan Stojkovic is a political scientist at Witten/Herdecke University and doctoral researcher in the DANGER project. His regional expertise within the project focuses on Central and South-Eastern Europe during the interwar period. His broader research interests include democratic backsliding, political behavior and sub-national democracy.
Here we regularly report on our research progress, scientific events we attend, and current threats to democracy in Europe.