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Horizon Europe Project: PLEDGE

Project Title: Politics of Grievance and Democratic Governance


Project Objectives

Contemporary politics is angry and vengeful, with affective polarization and uncompromising antagonisms posing a significant challenge for European democracies and their governance. PLEDGE interprets political grievances as emotional signals of disaffection, frustration and insecurities that can develop into either anti- or prodemocratic outcomes. By engaging in collaborative research design and implementation involving academics, policy-makers, civil society actors, and citizens, the PLEDGE project intends to offer new understanding of anti- and pro-democratic trajectories of political grievances, and to co-create tools and practices of emotionally intelligent and responsive democratic governance and policy communication that promote prodemocratic forms of civic engagement. The project will provide a framework of the emotional mechanisms of anti- and prodemocratic grievance politics that explain dynamic interrelations between the emotions, values, and identities of citizens and groups, and empirically decode the psychological, sociocultural, and political drivers of these emotional mechanisms into operationalizable measures and indicators, focusing on 11 countries and 3 major crises (pandemic, war in Ukraine, climate/energy crisis). PLEDGE will achieve these objectives through a cross-national interdisciplinary research project involving 15 partners and its policy outputs, co-created and piloted in design coalitions, will inform democratic innovation of processes and practices and incorporate emotions in the designed-for outcomes, thus improving their efficiency.


Partner Institution: European Institute, İstanbul Bilgi University


Bilgi Research Team

Ayhan Kaya (PI ve WP1 Leader)

Pınar Uyan-Semerci

Emre Erdoğan

Özlem Cihan

Didem Balatlıoğulları


Project Budget: 3.160.000 Euro

PLEDGE Consortium Partners:

Project website: