Scottish Universities Insight Institute : a development from the institute for advanced studies

a development from the institute for advanced studies


Strengthening Democracy at Work and in our Communities

The purpose of this project is to examine potential linkages between micro-involvement and macro-involvement. Given the recent upsurge in interest in employee ownership and participation, and evidence of an 'upward positive spillover' of democratic attitudes in those economies with high employee ownership and participation, this programme will endeavour to present a public debate on the extent to which organisational democracy and community involvement can strengthen broader civil involvement and participation in democracy at a time when Scotland approaches a key decision on its future.

The key objectives of the project are:
• To strengthen Scotland’s democratic processes by raising awareness of the benefits of organisational and community involvement in decision-making.
• To shape Scotland’s future by helping business, community and political leaders to understand the importance of widening participation on all three levels.

The key questions being asked are:
• To what extent do people learn about democracy through the organisations in which they work and the communities in which they live?
• What are the wider benefits of learning about democracy?

Substantively, this programme is not about learning about politics, but about positively influencing attitudes toward democratic participation, not only among key decision-makers, but also within the general public.  The impact of the project will be felt in Scotland, but with reverberations across the world.


  • Programme Team
  • Workshop 1
  • Workshop 2
  • Workshop 3
  • Workshop 4

Final Report

Download a copy of the Strengthening Democracy Final Report


Watch David Ellerman's presentation on Scottish Contributions to the Theory of Inalienable Rights from Seminar 1

Key Dates

Click on the dates below for more information and to Register for upcoming events:
Workshop 1:
24th April

Workshop 2:
16th July

Workshop 3:
29th October 2013

Workshop 4: Registration is now closed
15 November 2013