Press release

Hertie School and Humboldt-Universität launch graduate programme on consequences of demographic change for democracy

Michaela Kreyenfeld says programme will pursue policy-relevant, inter-disciplinary research.

Berlin, 12 November 2018 - The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved the graduate programme "The Dynamics of Demography, Democratic Processes and Public Policies (DYNAMICS)", a joint endeavour of the Humboldt-Universität and the Hertie School. From fall 2019, a total of 35 doctoral students will address this complex topic. The graduate research programme will receive 3.3 million euros over four and a half years.

In Western societies, aging populations, changing family structures and migration affect not only the challenges facing policy areas such as health, pension and education policies. Demographic trends are also drawing new lines of conflict between voters, parties, interest groups and governments.

"We want to systematically research how demographic change impacts democratic processes, how policy decisions are made to address demographic challenges, and how public policies affect family dynamics, old-age care, the age of retirement, and the integration of migrants," says the new programme's spokeswoman Heike Klüver, Professor for Comparative Political Behavior at the Humboldt-Universität's Department of Social Sciences.

Michaela Kreyenfeld, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Hertie School's Doctoral Programme, adds: "DYNAMICS includes an internationally competitive curriculum that familiarizes students with the latest methods and theories. Central to this is an interdisciplinary approach, which enables our doctoral students to conduct innovative research on issues related to demographic change that are highly relevant for policy makers."

Read the press release by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The Hertie School is a private university based in Berlin, Germany, accredited by the state and the German Science Council. It prepares exceptional students for leadership positions in government, business, and civil society. Interdisciplinary and practice-oriented teaching, first-class research and an extensive international network set the Hertie School apart and position it as an ambassador of good governance, characterised by public debate and engagement. The school was founded at the end of 2003 as a project of the Hertie Foundation, which remains its major partner.