Citizenship and Democracy

In Citizenship and Democracy we investigate how individual psychological and social factors reflect on citizen participation, on young people’s political attitudes and on inter-group attitudes. We are interested in how a person shapes their relationship with democracy, trust in other people and institutions and the sense of one’s influence on societal situation. We also examine differences between young people from majority and minority groups, and the role of the new media or citizenship socialization in the school environment.


Psychological processes linking civic engagement to well-being

The project aims to describe how civic involvement/engagement in young adulthood can strengthen or weaken well-being (a feeling of personal contentment closely linked to the quality of life). By civic engagement, we mean individual and collective activities aimed at achieving change or helping in the public sphere. They can include a wide range of activities from volunteering to political protest or participation in traditional politics.

více o projektu zde

Project period

1/2022 - 12/2024


doc. Mgr. et Mgr. Jan Šerek, Ph.D.

Seznam publikací projektu

Total number of publications: 0

Enlightened trust: An examination of trust and distrust in governance – conditions, effects and remedies (TRUST)

This project aims to address trust and distrust in governance in the European context by focusing on three axes. First, it considers trust and distrust as distinct, equally relevant and mutually interrelated dimensions of the relations between citizens and various governance actors. Second, the proposal looks at trust and distrust and their complex interrelations as collective phenomena that are created and reproduced through practices, contestation, negotiation, interpretations between various actors across different societal arenas or fields. Third, the proposal takes account of the complexity of trust/distrust relations by taking a differential look at the various targets of trust and distrust situated at different levels of aggregation and in various arenas.

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Psychological determinants of perceived democratic legitimacy

The concept of democracy encompasses a variety of decision-making procedures (e.g., direct vote, decision of elected representatives, deliberation-based consensus) that might put emphasis on different, often conflicting, principles (e.g., majority rule vs. minority rights). This project aims to broaden our understanding of factors leading people to perceive some democratic procedures and principles as being more legitimate than others. Building on recent developments in social and political psychology, we aim to examine particularly the roles of implicit cognition (i.e. implicit attitudes and conceptions of democracy), social identity, threat, and personal involvement.

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List of Publications

Total number of publications: 6

Constructing Active Citizenship with European Youth: Policies, practices, challenges and solutions (CATCH-EyoU)

This project will investigate young people’s views on the EU and their social and political engagement as “active EU citizens”. We focus on “active EU citizenship” as a guiding concept, which we conceptualize, differently than previous approaches (cf. Hoskins, 2006; Hoskins & Mascherini, 2009) as including both “psychological” citizenship (composed of dimensions such as EU identity, sense of belonging and trust in the EU, among the others) and participatory practices in formal and informal contexts at different levels (EU, national, regional, local) through which citizenship is enacted.

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List of Publications

Total number of publications: 28

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Determinants of the growth of extremism and populism in times of economic crisis

The project focuses on increasing the electoral support of extremist and populist parties, which became visible (at least in the media) in parallel with the global economic crisis. Therefore, the project will be to verify the extent to which and how the financial crisis has affected the rise in electoral support of extremist and populist parties. The analysis will focus on the European Union's member states in the relevant period 2008-2014 and reflect the years preceding it. There are indications that the economic crisis has only become a tool for exposing deeper tensions within European society that are longer-term. Therefore, the project will use not only the knowledge of economics but also other social sciences. It will bring together scientists from three faculties of Masaryk University (ESF, PrF, FSS) and five scientific disciplines necessary for studying this issue (economics, political science, law, social psychology, and sociology).

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List of Publications

Total number of publications: 33

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Psychological aspects of adolescents´ civic development

Proposed project aims to examine psychological processes and characteristics underlying the formation of civic orientations and behavior among adolescents (age 14-17). The main focus is on the experiences from proximal social contexts, particularly school, family and peer groups. Longitudinal study will enable us to examine these effects among middle and late adolescents. The project will utilize established survey methods to capture these effects in adolescents as nested in their classrooms, as well as qualitative interviews that will explore different understandings of citizenship among youth. Additionally, the role of adolescents’ individual characteristics, which can produce diverse responses to the context, will be acknowledged. The outcomes will deepen knowledge on everyday (not explicitly political) factors that shape young people’s civic development. Such design will allow the authors to formulate both theoretical and practical implications.

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List of Publications

Total number of publications: 12

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Processes influencing democratic ownership and participation (PIDOP)​

This project will examine the processes which influence democratic ownership and participation in eight European states. It will draw on the disciplines of Politics, Sociology, Social Policy, Psychology and Education to examine macro-level contextual factors (including historical, political, electoral, economic and policy factors), proximal social factors (including familial, educational and media factors) and psychological factors (including motivational, cognitive, attitudinal and identity factors) which facilitate and/or inhibit civic and political engagement and participation.

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List of Publications

Total number of publications: 0

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