Research | Queen’s University Canada

Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity

Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity

Does diversity harm democracy? Does it make it stronger? How are the two to be balanced? These are the kinds of questions that the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity (CSDD) seeks to answer. In its teaching and research, the Centre draws on the theoretical and practical knowledge of scholars and practitioners from varied disciplines and experts in disparate methodologies to study the unique challenges – and the benefits – posed by diversity to democratic societies.

In pursuit of its interdisciplinary mission, the CSDD focuses on diversity, broadly conceived (diversity of lifestyle, philosophical diversity, racial diversity, and gender diversity, as well as the diversity that indigenous societies bring to settler-colonial societies, the diversity that immigrants create, and the diversity found in states made up of different ethnic, religious, or national communities). It also focuses on democracy, asking questions about the appropriate political institutions and policies needed for governing diverse societies, and how to evaluate these in terms of their effectiveness. It further considers the special case of states that are undergoing significant transitions, from civil war to peace and from authoritarianism to democracy (or the reverse, as in the cases of ‘illiberal democracies’).

  • Partnerships
  • Student Opportunities

The Centre supports international teaching and learning opportunities for its fellows and emerging scholars, and invites international postdoctoral fellows from around the globe to study at the CSDD. A recent international workshop on territorial rights supported by the Centre involved scholars from the UK, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Chile, and the US Three Centre fellows are currently engaged in a project called “The Politics of Complex Diversity in Contested Cities,” which examines ethnic rivalries in the historically contested cities of Montreal, Brussels, Belfast, and Vilnius. CSDD Director Margaret Moore holds several research grants that involve international cooperation with other researchers, especially in Israel, the UK, and Germany.

The CSDD counts emerging scholars amongst its members and actively supports the research of graduate students whose work falls within its mandate. To contribute to graduate student training, the Centre supports graduate-run conferences, as well as gives graduate students the opportunity to present their work at its own conferences, workshops, and lectures. The Centre also contributes to the curricula and funding of international summer schools. Research grants held by members of the Centre have also supported graduate student research and work.