Transregional Center for Democratic Studies

Democracy & Diversity Institutes in Poland & South Africa

With the conviction that adequate social and human capital is a crucial element in developing a culture of democratic governance, TCDS creates unique international study programs that bring together civic-minded students, junior scholars and nonprofit professionals from around the world. Its flagship projects are the Democracy & Diversity Graduate Institutes conducted in Poland and South Africa.

Democracy & Diversity Graduate Institutes  

TCDS’s flagship programs are the region-based Democracy & Diversity Institutes held annually in two extraordinary setting: Johannesburg, South Africa (January) and Wroclaw, Poland (July). The institutes are intensive three-week programs of study, where up to 40 young civic-minded scholars engage through discussion and debate in a rigorous quest for a deeper and more textured understanding of the challenges to democracy in the contemporary world. Half of the participants come from the New School and half from the host region. Upon fulfilling the Institute’s requirements, New School students receive credits for the two seminars they select from four courses offered while the participants from the region receive Institute Certificates.

▪ Democracy & Diversity Graduate Summer Institute in Wroclaw, Poland (July)

In the summer of 2009, building on the success of the previous Krakow Democracy & Diversity Institutes held from 1992 to 2008, TCDS moved the Institute to Wroclaw. The Wroclaw D&D Institute, located in a city of richly multi-cultural roots in the borderland between Western and Eastern Europe, is designed to facilitate intellectual and experiential insights into a momentous experiment now under way: the peaceful construction of transnational Europe. In an increasingly interdependent world fraught with violent conflicts, wars, and ethnic and religious tensions, it is vital to understand the past and present lessons involved in this extraordinary experiment in transborder – and transregional – institution building.

More information about past D&D Institutes in Wroclaw : Wroclaw 2013 (July 10-26, 2013), Wroclaw 2012 (July 9-25, 2012), Wroclaw 2014 (July 3-19, 2014)


▪ Democracy & Diversity Graduate Summer Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa (January)

In 2012, after a long and successful period in Cape Town, South Africa (1999-2009), the winter Democracy & Diversity Institute was moved to Johannesburg as a part of its renewal and re-energizing.  The economic hub of South Africa and the gateway to the rest of Africa, Johannesburg has become a politically and academically stimulating site, as well as a fresh intellectual opportunity for the Institute. The city’s recent political and cultural transformations provide the perfect setting for study and debate on democratic transitions and consolidation, political culture, state violence, race and racism, and the issues of development and equity in a fast-globalizing world.

More information about past D&D Institutes in Johannesburg: Joburg 2013 (January 7-23, 2013), Joburg 2012 (January 5-21, 2012)


We are getting ready for our next summer Democracy & Diversity Institute in Wroclaw in July 2014.  Please check back for updates in early 2014.




The New School for Social Research
6 East 16th St., Rm 921, NY, NY 10003
212-229-5100 ext. 3136

Elzbieta Matynia, Director
212-229-5580 ext. 3137

Lala Pop, Program Manager,
PhD Student, Politics
212-229-5100 ext. 3136

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

New School Events

Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our Bachelor's programs (Except the Bachelor's Program for Adult Transfer Students) complete and submit the Common App online.

Graduates and Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Master's, Doctural, Professional Studies Diploma, Graduates Certificate, or Associate's programs, or to apply to the Bachelor's Program for Adult and Transfer Students, complete and submit the New School Online Application.