2016 Hungarian Referendum. Posters of the government in Zichyújfalu, Hungary

What comes after the failed referendum in Hungary? Political scientist Bulcsú Hunyadi about Orbáns objectives and about Hungarians who are tired of the migration topic.

Twerk 2 resist - sprinkled on a wall

Niv Acosta’s performance “Discotropic” rediscovers queer blackness. A performance that weaves together science fiction, disco and astrophysics with queer bodies and black experiences. KWEEK. A queer interjection.



The NGO Global Witness documents 185 known deaths of environmental activists worldwide in 2015 - the highest annual death toll on record. Claudia Rolf spoke to one of the authors of the report, Billy Kyte.

The civil society is globally under pressure. In many countries governments are restricting the activities of civil society organisations with targeted measures. In this dossier we deliver analysis and background knowledge, whilst exploring new scopes for action for civil societies.

Movements & Participation

Supporters of the opposition leader Julius Maada Bio protest against vote fraud in Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2012

Close on the heels of the UN adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015 the HABITAT III conference offers the international community a timely opportunity to revisit and revision its commitments to putting human rights at the heart of sustainable urban development. The global context is adverse, marked by growing inequity, rising levels of homelessness and landlessness, forced migration, environmental degradation and climate change.

The global urbanisation presents great challenges for sustainable development. In view of the UN summit Habitat III in Ecuador in this dossier we broach the issue of the cooperation between local governments and the civil society.

Bhanu Ben Jadav mixes cement in an apartment

Why communities want to co-produce with the state? The experience of communities in the global south is that it is important not to pass over responsibility to the state, because if citizen’s involvement is reduced it is unlikely that the services will be maintained. Diana Mitlin explores a radical concept of participation.

Feminism & Gender

Barbara Unmüßig behind the lectern

Torture and sexualized violence are part of everyday life in Syrian prisons. However, human rights violations committed by the Assad regime play no role at the Geneva peace talks. With this in mind, Barbara Unmüßig, calls for women to be included as peace negotiators.

Rainbow-Falg at the London Pride Parade 2009

Ten years after the creation of the Yogyakarta Principles, “Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”, Caroline Ausserer speaks with Professor Stephen Whittle, one of the experts that elaborated them.

The programme "Europe for Citizens" pools activities fostering tolerance promotion, gender equality and the protection of fundamental rights.

Net Politics

Thamyra Thâmara at the Brazilian Conference on Digital Ambivalences, October 2015

In an interview with Heinrich Böll Foundation Brasil, journalist Thamyra Thâmara, from Complexo do Alemão, speaks about the importance of digital media for popular communicators in the favelas–spaces which are stigmatized by the mainstream media and portrayed as impoverished and violent.

Human Rights

Last edition of the Népszabadság

Hungary’s largest left-wing political daily, Népszabadság, has shut down unexpectedly, and it is more than likely that this development is linked to the governing Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Independent journalists are not giving up, however, despite the ruling party’s tightening grip on the media.

Duterte of the Philippines

President Duterte is the most controversial figure in the Philippines today, and arguably in the ASEAN region. He is now President of the Philippines, which chairs ASEAN in 2017. What is in store for the Philippines and for the chairmanship of ASEAN? 

Wohnhaus in Barcelona

In the city of Barcelona, one can observe the joint power of civil movements and a progressive, accountable government to implement the social right to decent housing.

Political Partys

 Election booth at the Georgian election

A few days ago, the Georgian population elected a portion of the 9th parliament since the country’s independence. In more than 50 single-member districts a second round of elections is scheduled.

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán and his ruling party Fidesz failed with their referendum to obstruct the EU’s effort to impose an obligatory quota scheme for the resettlement of refugees. However, they could benefit from this defeat in domestic policies. A commentary.


Two women at the Gay Pride March in Johannesburg 2013

Civil society organisations can be a vanguard of progress for the LGBTI community. Despite the growing number of laws and policies impeding LGBTI advocacy, activists and organisations successfully challenge these trends.

Cahmber of UN Human Rights Council

Worldwide people are exposed to serious human rights violations because of their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). Therefore the UN Human Rights Council has decided to appoint an independent expert on the protection of LGBTI people.


ISTANBUL, TURKEY - 23 MAY : German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend the High-Level Leaders' Roundtables meeting on "Political Leadership to Prevent and End Conflicts" at the World Humanitarian Summit. OCHA / Salih Zeki Fazlıoğlu

The number of refugees fled to Europe in 2015 revealed the EU's deficient common asylum policy, which disproportionately affected the southern member states. To overcome the EU crisis, there is more needed than an EU-Turkey deal.


Group foto of the workshop "Experiences in Oral History”

Life stories conducted by historians and archivists are the nucleus of oral history. The workshop "Experiences in Oral History” dealt with the question, how the handling of these interviews as historical sources could be improved.


Half a million people are expected to visit Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics and Paralympics in August and September. At first glance this will be a huge benefit for the city. But just as for the World Cup in 2014, the city has become a contested space of political and economic interests.

Our dossier on Hungary is as a forum for critical voices since the right-wing government came to power in April 2010. The contributions reflect the socio-political changes as well as long-term developments.

The current ‘refugee crisis’ represents a political crisis for Europe as lack of coordinated action. Our dossier is an attempt to see how national differences present themselves and what common ground might still be achievable for a common European policy.


This DPC paper by Bodo Weber critically deals with the policy European States pursued around the 'refugee crisis'. Furthermore, it gives recommendations for political institutions how to deal with the current situation and how to overcome the crisis of the EU.

Across the world, activists, social movements and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are facing verbal hostility from politicians, new laws and regulations that curtail their ability to operate, and outright violence. Africa is no exception.

All publications on "Democracy"


In many countries around the world people are protesting against injustice, abuse of power, dire living conditions, and they are campaigning for higher standards. In the process new forms of citizens’ participation in political and administrative processes are evolving. We support all attempts to achieve greater democratisation and participation.


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