Lived democracy is a research group which studies how democracy is lived and learned in education. In particular, it studies how classroom discussions on societal issues can promote democratic Bildung, and what are the cultural conditions for such development. Societal and social topics in the students’ local community are used to catalyze classroom discussions and learning situations. We will investigate how the students’ close connection to the issue at hand influences engagement, learning processes and identities in the making. Student engagement and the potential for democratic Bildung also depend on cultural conditions at work in classrooms, including inter-culturality, allowance of a multiplicity of views and interconnectedness with the local community. We study how students’ engagement is factual and how discussion and engagement generate content learning. The project’s focus on students’ democratic capabilities and critical citizenship can support connections between school and society and will benefit schools’ contribution to an integrated and democratic society.