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On 2 February, Angela Merkel visits Hungary. The German-Hungarian friendship has undergone fundamental changes in the recent past - and the rewriting of Germany’s Russia policy also entails reshaping its ties to Hungary.

Through misuse, we lose 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil every year. For the International Year of Soils in 2015, this Atlas shows, why the soil should concern us all. Jointly published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies.

Children in Afghanistan
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Why leaving Afghanistan might be the preferred choice for the young and restless.

Pussy Riot
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Hannah Arendt would have found a lot to dislike about today’s Russia. But she would have loved Pussy Riot. An excerpt from the lecture of Ralf Fücks upon the occasion of the 2014 Hannah Arendt Prize.

With the attacks on the French magazine "Charlie Hebdo", a new debate on free speech started, aksing i.e. where does freedom of expression end and where do xenophobia and defamation begin? Does Islam allow for critical self-reflection? In 2011 we organized a conference in Beirut, adressing those question. A documentation.

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Assad and ISIS appear to be perfect opposites. In reality, however, they are rather complementary. Whatever aspirations one may have for a cooperation with the regime, neither an end to the war nor safety will be gained through it.

Democracy

 Damascus, Umayyad Mosque
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There's little hope for an improvement of the Syrian situation. Nonetheless, there are civil society activists who are still working on non-violent resistance and democratic change.

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More than six million Syrian refugees are in search of a different, a safer place in their home country and yet only arrive at places that are currently slightly less ghastly.

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International Politics

 Narendra Modi and Barack Obama talks
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Newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in September to make his first official visit to the United States. On January 26, US President Barack Obama will visit India.

energy
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Hungary continues to extend its energy relations with Russia causing another major tension in the already heavy-loaded Hungarian-EU relations.

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Publications

The first issue of Perspectives Southeastern Europe is about young adults in the Balkans. It is about young people with a specific kind of transition to adulthood who want to overcome the tradition of patriarchy and discrimination and who are striving for a more democratic culture.

To explore the possibilities of an Open Co-operativism, the Commons Strategies Group convened a workshop of a dozen notable activists, policy experts, academics and project leaders. This report summarizes the main results of the workshop.

Perspectives Asia

Asia, the world’s most populous continent, has been undergoing a dramatic transformation. Globalization and new technologies are leading millions of people out of poverty. At the same time thousands have to leave their country. A continent on the move.

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Economy & Social Issues

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It is not only constitutional democracy that Viktor Orbán’s regime treats as its enemy; the Hungarian government has also launched a forceful attack on the welfare state. A concise overview of the latest reforms - and an assess of their consequences for poverty and social inequality.

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India's prime minister Modi tries to develop relations with important countries: In Japan, he marketed India as a ‘low cost manufacturing hub’ and tries to inject new life to U.S.-India relations.

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Ecology

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The coming set of Sustainable Development Goals will seek to protect ecosystems, conserve resources, and, as with the Millennium Development Goals, lift millions of people out of poverty. Now that solid legal ground must be developed further.

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The conference “Legal Remedies for Resource Equity”, whick took place on September 15th, focused on the use of environmental law to prevent the negative impacts of global resource extraction. A documentation of Barbara Unmüßig's keynote and presentations of the speaker's corners.

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Education & Culture

Mária Szilágyi
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How do you organise a drama festival with international guests on a 6,000 € state subsidy? Well, you need a lot of enthusiastic volunteers, as well as visitors, who are completely committed to the cause.

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Video: Urvashi Butalia on Women's Rights in India

Please note: If you are looking for the website of our North America office in Washington, follow this link: http://us.boell.org

Events

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Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
5. Feb.
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Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
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Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
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Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
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Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
10. Feb.
The Future of Democracy in Thailand
Berlin
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Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
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Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
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Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
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German Energy Transition

Magazine

Perspectives Asia is a publication series of the Asia Desk of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung published in cooperation with the offices of the foundation in Asia. With this series, we intend to provide a German and European readership with an understanding of Asian perspectives, as well as an analysis of global trends and greater insights into developments and current political issues across the Asian region.

Africa

Lettering LGBT
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Despite South Africa’s Constitution of 1996 being considered one of the most advanced worldwide, the LGBTI community in South Africa faces violence, harassment, intimidation and hate crimes. With numerous projects, the Heinrich Böll Foundation seeks to improve the situation of the LGBTI community in South Africa.

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Asia

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Since May this year, when I started writing this blog, I have started appreciating the strength of Indian democracy. As I followed the unraveling of the national elections, and thereafter the elections in various states of our country, I became acutely aware of the power of Indian voters and their ability to choose their own destiny in a peaceful and democratic manner.

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Europe

theatre scene
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“We were born to the world to be at home in it somewhere,” wrote the Hungarian author Áron Tamási. Yet not only the feeling of being at home, but also that of homelessness may be a common denominator among people who live in the same space – in the same cyberspace.

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Latin America

Protest Iguala
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There is still no trace of the students of Escuela Normal Rural of Ayotzinapa who disappeared towards the end of September. We spoke with María Luisa Aguila from the Tlachinollan Centre about the situation, the role of the Mexican government and the responsibility of the European Union in the Ayotzinapa case.

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Middle East & N. Africa

Baschar-al-Assad
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An international conference on the situation of Syrian refugees has been arranged for 28th October in Berlin. Yet in view of the magnitude of the crisis, this is a mere drop in the ocean. Western states keep concentrating on ways to ease the symptoms of the crisis which they cannot gain control over without political underpinning.

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North America

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Ten billion US Dollars: One figure will be enough to judge the success of the first ever pledging conference for the Green Climate Fund on Thursday, November 20th in Berlin. Though, equally important will be in what form and how soon the pledge reaches the trust fund as an actual payment.

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Dossier

The Heinrich Böll Foundation is compiling a dossier containing articles and interviews on the situation in Hungary since the right-wing government came to power in April 2010. Our intention is to raise awareness about the changes in the domain of public life in Hungary.

Dossier

How could a just and democratic resource politics look like that respects both planetary boundaries and human rights? The Memorandum “Resource Politics for a Fair Future” is the outcome of a two-year international dialogue process of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Dossier

2014 is viewed as one of the most important years since the Afghan transition process began, over a decade ago. Western troops are being drawn down and more importantly, the first presidential and provincial elections autonomously organised within the country, will present a further important step within the political transition process. This dossier provides analyses, profiles, interviews, as well as studies that will shed light on the events of what is an important year for Afghanistan.

Dossier

India finds itself in a difficult transformation process. This dossier strives to make the country in its diversity more tangible. And to correspond with the upcoming parliamentary elections, it also makes room for a variety of socio-political and economic policy analyses and debate, and aims to define India’s foreign policy role.