International project to strengthen education on dictatorships

  • Date

    Tue 22 Feb 22

Portrait of Natasha Lindstaedt

As military action by Russia in Ukraine plunges the world into a political crisis, the global challenges around the rise of authoritarianism are the focus of a new international research education project involving the University of Essex.

Co-funded by the European Union, the project will aim to enhance the educational resources around authoritarian regimes – to better inform government departments and policymakers across the globe as well as students who are carrying out research in this field.

Professor Natasha Lindstaedt, specialist in international relations and comparative politics in the Department of Government, joins 10 other partner organisations and 11 associated partners conducting research on the global challenge of the rise in authoritarian regimes by strengthening education on dictatorship and democracy research.

Professor Lindstaedt said: “There has never been a greater need for a collaborative understanding of the rise in populism and dictatorships across the spheres of influence – university educators, policy makers and analysts. This project will provide vital educational materials to improve the study of authoritarian regimes/dictatorships and provide the cornerstones for recommendations for EU policy-makers and analysts, to shape its democracy support strategies, capabilities and vision.”

Mapping and Organising Research on Democracy (M.O.R.D.O.R.) is an Erasmus+ project, co-funded by the European Union. Its mission is to show the importance of collaboration between the fields of area studies, political science, and policy analysis. The project will map current knowledge on dictatorship and democracy research and EU democracy-promotion, organise this knowledge and transform new insights to provide:

  • An encyclopaedia providing a compilation of all of the relevant research on dictatorships
  • A White paper on EU democracy promotion
  • A booklet for educators with lesson plans and guidelines for courses on dictatorship, democracy, EU foreign policy or regional authoritarian contexts.

The partner organisations are:

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland

Universiteit Gent, Belgium

University of Essex, UK

Universita di Catania, Italy

Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

Ostravska Univerzita, Czech Republic

Univerzita Karlova, Czech Republic

Ljubljana State University, Slovenia

European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), Brussels, Belgium

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Germany


The associated partners are:

University of Pretoria, South Africa

North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Institut français d’études sûr Asie centrale, IFEAC – Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

British Teaching University, Tbilisi, Georgia

Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UEA

Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Universidad de San Andrés Buenos Aires, Argentina

Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, Manila, Philippines

De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines

University of the Philippines

University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia