The Institute for Democracy and Civil Society (IDZ) is a social scientific research institute dedicated to the strengthening of democratic culture and civil society in the German state of Thuringia and beyond.
Central task of the institute is the identification and scientific analysis of antidemocratic phenomena, structures, and efforts. Our main fields of research include discrimination, prejudice and group-based enmity, hate crime and hate speech, right-wing extremism and right-wing populism, protest, antisemitism, and the effects and dynamics of digitalisation on these issues.
The institute follows a public understanding of social scientific research, as the transfer of knowledge between academia, civil society, and politics constitutes a central pillar of our work. The involvement and participation of particularly civil society representatives plays an essential role in the whole research process, from the development of research questions via the conceptualisation and realisation of research projects to the publication and targeted provision of research findings and data.
The institute was founded in 2016 under the sponsorship of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. It is funded by the „State program for democracy, tolerance and open-mindedness” of the state Thuringia. Since June 2020, the IDZ is furthermore one of 11 locations of the Research Institute for Social Cohesion (RISC), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
All research and transfer activities are organised into three thematically defined departments, each of which is led by one head of department:
You can find further information on our research and transfer projects here → column: Forschung.