2023- present

Democracy and capitalism need to be rebalanced.

Rebalance is an European Horizon Project that seeks to provide new insights, resources, events, and learning materials to help foster a rebalancing of capitalism and democracy.

While globalization, financialization and monopolies increasingly weaken democracies, large companies are having an ever-greater influence on how democracy is enacted in Europe, leading to a ‘market-conforming capitalism’.
Companies are undermining democratic processes both at home and abroad. Among other things, they engage in excessive lobbying, violations of basic human rights, and collusion with repressive governments.

Some economic actors are experimenting with alternative models and demonstrating more interest in sustainability and tentative routes toward an alternative “democracy-conforming capitalism”.
Companies can have a positive influence on authoritarian governments, they can protect minorities, or even produce democracy-enhancing products and services.

The problem is that we have too much of the former and not enough of the latter.


The REBALANCE project will fill this gap by investigating how large companies (1) have contributed to past and present threats to democracy; (2) can promote future democracy-enhancing business models and alternative organizational forms.

The project will identify:
- the most effective regulatory control of economic actors, which avoids anti-democratic distortions and reveals human rights violators, and what makes large firms accept or resist such control;
- ways to tackle (self-)exclusion from the democratic participation of victims of business-related human rights infringements and other marginalized categories, relying on empowerment-centered partnerships between firms and other entities (e.g.. NGOs);
- whether and how companies respond to populisms, and how alternative organizational forms such as social enterprises might embed and foster democracy.

The expected project outcomes are in line with the call for: ‘Theoretically and empirically robust recommendations aiming to instill greater democratic accountability and inclusion in economic processes'.

Visit Rebalance website


Rebalance project is a collaboration between seven European universities and Source International.  

REBALANCE is led by the University of Pisa, in partnership with: Hertie School, Germany; Stockholm University, Sweden; Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy; University of Bath, United Kingdom; Wageningen University, Netherlands; Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, Ukraine; Source International, Italy.

The project is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe funding programme and Innovate UK.