The Jack W. Peltason Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) is an Organized Research Unit (ORU) established and funded by the University of California, Irvine. The Center fosters academic research and education to provide a better understanding of the democratic process, the steps that may strengthen democracy at home and abroad, as well as the threats democracy faces in the 21st century. The center hosts research conferences and workshops, sponsors faculty graduate student research, and facilitates teaching on democratic themes.
The Center began as a UCI Focused Research Program in 1990. It is a collegium of scholars who are actively engaged in research related to the theme of democratic politics. Headquartered at UCI, and including over 40 faculty from the departments of political science, sociology and economics, the program has additional affiliates from across the University of California system, as well as other national and international associates. The Center is also a member of The Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI) established to facilitate contacts among democracy scholars and activists, and a member of The Consortium of International Research Centers (CIRC).