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Civil Society in Wurzen
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The Leipzig Authoritarianism Studies


ELSE-FRENKEL-BRUNSWIK-INSTITUTE for Democracy Research in Saxony

Universität Leipzig
Ritterstraße 26

POSTFACH-NR.: 348003

- Research
- Projects
- Documentation
- Counseling

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About the institute

Democracy Research in Saxony

The Else Frenkel Brunswik Institute (EFBI), located at the Leipzig University, researches and documents anti-democratic attitudes, structures and aspirations in Saxony and advises civil society and politics based on this research.

The Else Frenkel Brunswik Institute was founded in the fall of 2020 to support democratically engaged civil society in Saxony. Democratic initiatives in Saxony face a variety of problems - these include a lack of funding as well as attacks and threats from the extreme right. At the same time, there is also a lack of common, up-to-date knowledge about the threat to democracy posed by neo-Nazis, conspiracy ideologues or anti-feminists.

The goal of the work of the Else Frenkel Brunswik Institute is to counteract this by identifying gaps in knowledge about anti-democratic attitudes, structures and aspirations in Saxony and closing them through research. The knowledge gained in this process is specifically processed by the researchers for civil society groups and made available to them.

The research focuses on various forms of discrimination as well as the strategies and dynamics of anti-democratic and authoritarian motivated alliances. EFBI's research fields include attitudinal research, research in conflict spaces, and the monitoring and documentation of anti-democratic structures and social media activities.


Another goal of EFBI is to involve civil society actors and institutions in its social space-oriented, participatory research. It is also intended to actively contribute to the networking of civil society actors.

In addition to participatory research, EFBI offers targeted psychosocial consulting for municipalities and groups active in civil society. The aim is to build their capacity to better respond to the challenges posed by violent individuals in particular, but also by anti-democratic attitudes among the population.


EFBI regularly reports on its findings in its own publications, including an annual report, regular policy papers and a newsletter. In addition, events and publications in various media are used to inform about the work and initiate debates. The researchers at EFBI are happy to make their expertise available to the media for classification purposes.


EFBI was founded as an independent research unit and is administratively affiliated with the Leipzig Research Center Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe). Funded by the Free State of Saxony, the institute is headed by the nationally renowned social researcher Oliver Decker, who has been in charge of the Leipzig Authoritarianism Studies since 2002.