For Democracy

In the last six decades all over the world autocracies and military dictatorships were overthrown and initial steps toward democracy were taken. But over the years it has be-come clear that the transition from autocracy to democratic rule is difficult and by no means guaranteed. The authoritarian developing state – as an alternative to democracy – has gained massive momentum. Even in its ostensible strongholds democracy is un-der pressure today in many parts of the world. Institutions of democracy assistance like the Heinrich Böll Foundation and pioneers of political freedom have been struggling against a significant headwind for some time now. However, supporting democratic en-gagement worldwide is a core concern of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Human rights, democracy, and ecology – this triad stands at the center of the Foundation’s interna-tional work. The present publication “For Democracy” outlines and analyzes the state of democracy worldwide as well as the possibilities of democracy assistance. At the same time, the publication provides concrete insights into the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s political work for democracy. In addition, four essays approach the subject democracy assistance in a basic and passionate manner.

Product details
Date of Publication
April 2016
Number of Pages
Language of publication
Table of contents


1 Democratization – Developments and Trends
  •  After the upheaval: Democracy on the defensive
  •  Spotlight: Protest: The politics of squares
  •  New regime with the old elites: Contradictions in the transformation in Eastern and Southeastern Europe
  •  Arab Spring: What remains of the revolution?
  • Trouble in the air: Democracy and extractivism in Latin America
2 Democracy Assistance – Stocktaking and Challenges
  • Development instead of democracy?
  • Essay: Democracy assistance against a headwind
  • Essay: Civil society under pressure
  • Essay: Rising powers, rising democracies – Rising democracy promotion? An outlook on non-Western democracy assistance
  • Spotlight: It is the middle that matters
3 Concrete Work for Democracy
  • Democracy must be fought for and renewed – The Heinrich Böll Foundation’s work for democracy abroad
  • Many ways to assist democracies: Examples from the work of the Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Expertise and awareness: How to find the right issues and the right tone in each country
  • Without borders: The global participation of civil society
4 Politics for Democracy
  • Essay: Democratic realpolitik: Dealing with authoritarian regimes

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