Joint Research Group on Participatory Democracy

Year of Foundation:




The research group is based on the cooperation between the Department of Legal History of the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University and the Faculty of International Relations / Centre for Democracy Studies of the Andrássy University Budapest. Its main objective is to study the working of the instruments of participatory democracy in Hungary and abroad. The partners of the cooperation lay a great stress on the interdisciplinary approach of their research: the point of view of legal science, as well as the perspective of political science shall be taken into consideration. Moreover, the members of the group deem important to examine the relevant participatory instruments and their practice in the context of the political culture of the respective country. They view the institutions of participatory and direct democracy in their relation to representative decision-making processes and attach great importance to democratic innovations. In addition to referendums and popular initiatives all those devices deserve a special attention which may contribute to the effective representation of the diverse values and interests of modern pluralist societies. The research group has a particular interest in the development of Eastern and Central European countries. Comparative analyses and the presentation of foreign examples and lessons play a crucial role in the activity of the group.



László Komáromi (Pázmány University, Faculty of Law, Dept. of Legal History)
Csaba Madarász (eDemocracy Workshop Association)
Zoltán Tibor Pállinger (Andrássy University, Centre for Democracy Studies)
Hajnalka Szarvas (National University of Public Service)


Current Projects:

Practical Aspects of Civic Participation and Referendum in the Visegrad Group Countries after 1989
                  Partner Institution: Pázmány Péter Catholic University (László Komáromi)
                  The project examines the working of the institutions of civic participation in the V4 countries.
                  The project is financed by the Visegrad Fund.
                  Civic participation in the Visegrad Group member states after 1989. Good Practice Guidelines
                          (The material was elaborated based on the results of the project. It is freely downloadable.)





Workshops and Conferences:

09.03.2012: Hungary's New System of Direct Democracy: International and National Perspectives
                  Publication: Iustum Aequum Salutare 2013/4.

20.09.2013: Good Governance – Reforming Representation
                  Publication: Komáromi, László – Pállinger, Zoltán Tibor (eds): Good Governance – Enhancing
                  Representation. Budapest: Pázmány Press, 2016.

26.09.2014: Direct Democracy in Eastern and Central Europe
                  Publication: in preparation

30.10.2015: Democratic Innovation: New Practices and Potentials of Participatory Procedures
                  Publication: in preparation

25.02.2016: Participatory Democracy Forum
                  Publication: -

21.10.2016: Popular Sovereignty vs. Rule of Law: Procedures, Judicial Control, and the Borders of Political Legitimacy
                  Publication: in preparation

28.02.2018: Participatory Democracy Workshop I
                  Publication: -

21.03.2018: Participatory Democracy Workshop II
                  Publication: -

14.06.2019: Participatory Democracy: Cultural, Social, and Economic Prerequisites