The Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy

The World Forum for Democracy is an occasion for young people to debate the complex challenges facing democracies today and to foster democratic innovation. Held in Strasbourg and hosted by the Council of Europe, it is open to participants enrolled in the annual training cycles of the Schools of Political Studies, as well as other young people involved in civic initiatives.

The Forum brings together members of civil society, political leaders and representatives of business, academia, media and professional groups. Events include: plenary sessions, laboratories, talks, storytelling sessions and a pop-up agora. The European Parliament, the University of Strasbourg, the French National School of Administration (Ecole Nationale d’Administration) and local authorities are also involved in the implementation.

The Association of Schools of Political Studies, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, organises a programme of special events for participants from the Schools which supplement the main forum programme. These include a visit the European Court of Human Rights, a diploma ceremony in the presence of the Secretary General, bilateral meetings between the Schools and other networking events. The ASPS also organises a public debate in the sidelines of the Forum, held each year in Strasbourg city centre.

The Forum has been held annually since 2012, with the sixth edition having taken place in November 2017, under the title “Is Populism a Problem?”

For more information, see the World Forum website.


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Previous editions of the Forum 

The Summer University for Democracy

Prior to the introduction of the World Forum in 2012, the Network of Schools of Political Studies used to organise its annual meeting in the format of a summer university. With the help of a guiding theme, the aim of the summer university was to increase the visibility of the network of Schools of Political Studies and forge stronger ties between participants from the various schools. The event was attended by all the participants of the Schools of Political Studies (over 600 every year). It provided a chance to discuss common problems, to establish bilateral and regional dialogues, and to meet many experts from Europe and other parts of the world.

From 2006 to 2011, the summer universities had the following themes:

  • Summer University 2011 Ethics and Politics
  • Summer University 2010 The Crisis of Leadership
  • Summer University 2009 Global Challenges to Democracy
  • Summer University 2008 Governance, Power and Democracy
  • Summer University 2007 Projects for Europe
  • Summer University 2006 Challenges to Democracy in Today's Europe