Country(s): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom,

Deadline: 19-02-2019 14:00 CET (pre-proposals)


Democratic politics and governance in Europe are facing turbulent times. Party systems have crumbled or been substantially changed by new parties, including populist parties, and new social movements. Parties in power at the national and regional levels have called into question constitutional arrangements and guarantees once thought to underpin modern democracies. Such political changes have in part resulted from changes in the nature and form of citizen attachments to government, political parties and democratic procedures.

The financial crisis of 2007-8 raised questions about the ability of European governments to provide a framework for economic security and the pursuit of redistributive policies. Government itself has changed significantly over the past quarter century, with a growing role for ‘arm’s length’ agencies and regulatory bodies, international governance structures and private sector organisations.

In light of these developments, the NORFACE network will launch a transnational research programme on the topic of democratic governance.


  • To develop innovative and excellent research proposals addressing important challenges to democratic governance and politics;
  • To produce added value through the development of European cross-national research collaborations exploring the impacts of variations in social, economic, cultural and political contexts on changes in how democracies work;
  • To identify promising forms of  policy innovation and institutional design and explore the conditions for their application in different jurisdictions.

The programme is structured around five of the most important challenges to democratic governance and politics, described in detail in the Programme Text accompanying the Call for Proposals:

  1. Inequality and redistribution
  2. The evolving politics of threat
  3. The democratisation of information
  4. Shifting identities and representation
  5. The changing authority of institutions


Projects can have a duration of up to 36 consecutive months, with a minimum of 24 months.


General Call funding specifics:

  • The total reserved budget for this Call is 17.6 MEUR.
  • Project teams with three research partners from three different countries participating in this NORFACE Call may request a maximum of 1.2 MEUR in total across these partners.
  • Project teams with four or more research partners from at least four different countries participating in this NORFACE Call may request a maximum of 1.5 MEUR total across these partners.

FNR funding specifics:

  • The FNR supports this Call with a maximum of 500,000 EUR.



The Call for Proposals was published on 3 December 2018, with a deadline for submitting Outline Proposals on 19 February 2019. Please note that these dates may still be subject to changes.


Researchers from the social sciences are invited to apply for funding on behalf of an international consortium, comprised of researchers from three or more countries that participate in this NORFACE Call for proposals.

  • All partners in a project team must have the interest and competence to undertake social science research within the specified topic of the Governance programme.
  • Each research partner may request funding in accordance with the national or regional eligibility rules applicable to them.


Proposals must be submitted via the NORFACE website, where the call documents are also available.

  • Please note all joint applications must also be submitted to the FNR by the Luxembourg-based scientist, along with the FNR INTER documents.


Proposals will be evaluated by the NORFACE Network Group.

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