In recent years research on the role of time in politics has gained importance. Studies focus on both time as a medium of politics and governance by temporalization. In democracies, temporal structures and cycles determine the exercise of power. In multi-level systems such as the European Union, different time horizons and strategies of sequencing are increasingly colliding, forming complex timescapes. Moreover, current research suggests that the routines and rhythms of democratic decision-making fail to keep up with the demands of accelerated socio-economic systems. The consequences of divergent modes of asynchronization as well as efforts to resynchronize pose a major yet unexploited research problem in the field of democratic governance. The special issue seeks to offer a contribution to the discussion as it brings together recent debates and results on the relationship of time and politics. With contributions by: Klaus H. Goetz, Hubert Heinelt, Ina Kerner, Wolfram Lamping, Henning Laux, Wolfgang Merkel, Claus Offe, Kari Palonen, Jürgen Portschy, Hartmut Rosa, Friedbert W. Rüb, Andreas Schäfer, Holger Straßheim, Katrin Toens, Tom Ulbricht and Nikolaos Zahariadis.