26 June 2023

Lene Holm Pedersen: "New democracy and power study can benefit our political culture"

Democracy and power

The researchers who will lead the project ‘Magtudredningen 2.0’ have now been announced. Lene Holm Pedersen, Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, will be part of the management team.

Election posters in front of the Danish parliament.
Photo: News Oresund, Flickr

Democracy and power studies are a Scandinavian tradition. They were conducted in Norway in the 1970s, in Sweden during the 1980s and in Denmark and Norway around the turn of the millennium.

Twenty years ago, Denmark's first democracy and power study was completed. That was the year before Facebook was launched, and it is, among other things, technological developments and the changing media landscape that last year prompted the Danish Parliament to decide that an update of the Power Review from 2003 should be carried out.

A professionally broad-based group of professors from various research institutions will coordinate the work on an updated democracy and power study. The research management team acknowledges that the task is complex, but nevertheless, the researchers have a clear desire for the new democracy and power study to be action-oriented.

"The democracy and power study is an opportunity to strengthen our political culture – to increase an understanding of the conditions and challenges of democracy so that we can work to future-proof it," points out Professor Lene Holm Pedersen from the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen.

She is one of the five researchers in the project’s research management team.

Complexity calls for new knowledge

The research management team's task will be to coordinate the activities and prepare a final report. In addition, other researchers, each with insight into their own area of expertise, will be responsible for a number of sub-reports. Together, their work will provide a picture of the current state and conditions of Danish democracy.

The Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen is looking forward to a broad-based collaboration on the new democracy and power study.

"I welcome a new democracy and power study, and we are very pleased to have Lene Holm Pedersen as part of the research management team. She has the right profile for the task," says Head of Department and Professor Nina Græger.

She believes that a new democracy and power study is much needed.

"In a time of accelerating technological development, globally led by strong private interests, there is also a need to bring the international perspective into the analysis. The Department of Political Science has a lot to offer in this field, and we look forward to a good collaboration," says Nina Græger.

As a part of research management, Lene Holm Pedersen will focus on linking knowledge and practice.

In search of action

According to Lene Holm Pedersen, the political request for a new democracy and power study is based on the realisation that political problems have become more complex.

"There is an increased complexity in our democracy, but what do we do about that? Let's help each other not to simplify the complex, but to give it a form we can act on," she says.

The researchers behind the new democracy and power study will initially summarise all relevant knowledge within the topics mentioned in the terms of reference: the institutions of democracy, democratic development and technological and media development.

"Then we will start creating new research-based knowledge about the state of democracy and the conditions for democratic processes," concludes Lene Holm Pedersen.


Lene Holm Pedersen
Professor, Department of Political Science
Mail: lhp@ifs.ku.dk 
Phone: +45 35 33 58 28

Simon Knokgaard Halskov
Press and communications officer
Mail: sih@samf.ku.dk 
Phone: +45 93 56 53 29


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