Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy

The Centre explores the plurality of experiences with democracies in a global and comparative perspective. It engages in academic research and public debate on how to ensure that democracies govern more effectively.

Established in March 2017 with the generous support of the Gnosis Foundation (Liechtenstein) the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy explores the plurality of democratic experiences and aspirations in an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective.

It seeks to understand what ails democracies worldwide, focusing on the growing disenchantment of citizens with democratic political power, and on the shifts from liberal to illiberal democracy that increasingly blur the divide between the two.

It develops projects that bridge theoretical and empirical research, academic and policy work.

Its activities include:

  • Research on the everyday practices of democratic politics, citizens’ aspirations and dissatisfactions with liberal values, institutions and elites. Building on the seminal insights of Albert O. Hirschman, research at the Centre explores changing forms of civic engagement  that produce new configurations of "voice" and "exit”

  • A series of public lectures and conferences organised and supported by the Centre

  • An annual conference discussing democratic regression and reinvention

  • A series of PhD activities to foster interdisciplinary communities

The Centre promotes collaborative activities with academic institutions, international organisations as well as with partners in Geneva, in Switzerland and worldwide. It publishes and disseminates research for an academic readership, policy audiences, the media and the general public.

Shalini Randeria
Democracy has gone global. Yet while the majority of the world’s population lives in formal democracies today, trust in the political institutions of liberal democracy is in free fall in many societies.
Shalini Randeria
Director of the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy

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Upcoming events

Democracy Week 2020

From 5 to 10 October, the public events organised by participating institutions in the Geneva Canton will discuss the theme "Démocratie et Alter-démocratie".

Latest news

Our research themes

Discover the four core themes on which the Centre's research is organised


The videos from our public events, interview series and audio discuss some key dimensions of our research and outreach activities


Contact us


Mail Address

Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
Maison de la Paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2
Petal 3, 5th floor
Case Postale 1672
CH-1211 Genève 1



The Maison de la Paix is located at Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2A, on the corner of Avenue de France. You may take tram 15 until stop Maison de la paix, or alternatively a few minutes’ walk from Place des Nations