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The Democracy Lab at UC San Diego is a collective of scholars, community organizers, activists, educators, and practitioners working towards reenvisioning participatory democracy.

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The lab supports research collaboration and outwardly facing programming, and offers a collaborative media practice lab, podcasting studio, and networked meeting room for participating faculty, grad and undergrad researchers [in and beyond the department]. The Lab builds on the interdisciplinary strengths of our department and reflects both the interests and expertise of faculty working and teaching across a wide range of areas, including (but not limited to) populism and politics, design and media production; journalism studies and comparative media systems; law and technology; geography, cartography, and governance; youth disenfranchisement and empowerment.


"Democratization is not about being 'left alone,' but about becoming a self that sees the values of common involvements and endeavors." ~ Sheldon Wolin 

Vintage 80s blank VHS with "UCSD DEmocracy Lab" replacing original text



Our media lab offers conditions for experimenting with different media-making practices, with an eye toward better understanding the ways such practices foster (or frustrate) public participation, citizen engagement, and civic responsibility in a media–saturated, “infotainment” driven social environment.


Vintage 80s blank casette tape with UCSD Democracy Lab printed as the logo and handwritten #UCSDDEMLABRESEARCH

The Democracy Lab advances research that asks how the rich, technologically dense, and ever-changing multitude of information systems and processes that saturate all aspects of modern life are organized institutionally, culturally, and individually to shape, manage, engineer, and bind together social worlds.