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Democratisation is a chief tenet of green politics and a central issue in political education. Still it is often far from clear how to translate the general notion of democratisation into concrete projects, campaigns, or educational programmes. "Civil society" is one such concept which, while widely embraced, is very contentious when it comes to questions of implementation. Other such issues are the crisis of party democracy, the media and democracy, as well as numerous fundamental questions surrounding the relationship between politics and science. All of these are part of the foundation's activities. A further focus of our work are programmes that tackle far-right extremism and racism.


The Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange is a unique opportunity for leaders in Germany and the U.S. to share promising approaches to welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into their communities.

Demonstration in Budapest, 1956

In October 1956, Hungarian citizens staged a popular uprising to protest against the repressive policies of the Communist Party and against the country’s occupation by the Soviet Army. On 11 November 1956, Soviet forces quashed the last pockets of armed resistance in the capital city.


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Ecology and sustainable development are central areas for securing the future of humanity – areas which should by no means be treated as a political football. It is to the credit of the green movement within and outside parliaments that ecology has become one of the main arenas of politics. There is hardly another subject which, within the last 30 years, has been thus transformed from the concern of a few scientists, activists (often thought of as "nutters") into a topic of world conferences.

Little Red Flying Foxes (Pteropus Scapulatus) Boonah, Qld.

Trade with compensation credits is a prime example of how abstractions influence environmental policy. The astonishing reduction of unique habitats to a few measurable indicators is a prerequisite for trading biodiversity offsets.

Coal mining near Garzweiler, Germany

The call for an economic valuation of nature, and in particular for limits ​​on pollution and the destruction of nature, is linked to the demand for a more flexible implementation of environmental laws and regulations. The idea of “compensation instead of reduction” is intended to guarantee this flexibility.

Economy & Social Issues

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Contemporary social change is characterised by a change in the age structure of our society as well as by changes concerning life styles, relationships and gender relations. Sustained high unemployment rates have meant that the idea of full employment has become a remote possibility. At the same time this has refocused the debate on the crises of the wage economy and the adverse effects it has on systems of social security. Thus current problems do also give scope to the development of new concepts of work – of work beyond a salaried economy.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation looks at alternatives to the West-German model of a salaried, male, full-time job economy. At conferences and in publications we compare national models of employment and social policy, discuss life and work styles beyond the market or state, and discuss the potential of employment in the non-profit sector, the dynamics of shadow economies, moonlighting, job creation schemes, work migration and bogus self-employment. Presently we focus on the question, if – or how – new concepts of work can go together with global equality.

The princess garden in Berlin is more than an urban farming project, its pretty much a think tank for urban gardening

Ralf Fuecks on Green Growth, Smart Growth – A New Approach to Economics, Environment & Innovation at the 37th Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Lecture in Ahmedabad, October 7th, 2015.

Protest against the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Barbara Unmüßig correlates the Olympics with Brazil’s institutional, political and economic crisis. Did the organizers learn a lesson from the World Cup in 2014?

International Politics

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After the end of the cold war foreign and security policies have been subject to rapid change. This development has been further accelerated after September 11. Traditional security policies such as deterrence and containment have been replaced by risk prevention, crisis intervention, and preemptive policy measures. Increasingly questions of foreign, security, and developmental policy have become intertwined. The debates surrounding the war on Iraq have brought to the surface tensions between the USA and Europe – as well as within Europe itself. Against this background we would like to continue the debates on the future of transatlantic relations - and this against the background of new security policy risks, crisis prevention, and preemptive policies.

Devastation in Maiduguri, the capital of the Nigerian state of Boko, Hochburg of the Islamic-terrorist grouping Boko Haram.

The German politics on Africa was busy on migration and refugee issues in West Africa, especially Nigeria. But the crisis of internally displaced people within Nigeria is far greater. Mausi Segun, Head of Human Rights Watch in Nigeria, warns that the conflict continues to smolder despite.

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.

Education & Culture

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In the fields of science and education, the activities of the Heinrich Böll Foundation reflect the change of modern societies towards what has been labelled "Knowledge Society." Knowledge – especially scientific knowledge – has increasingly become a crucial resource and education the precondition for participation in the public sphere. This participation in turn includes the ability to take part in social deliberations about the direction and the limits of scientific and technological progress.


How many supporters does Assad actually still have? Obviously not even enough to cast different extras for two short television clips.

Poems, short prose and essays on the fate of refugees and asylum-seekers - as published in our "Berlin Anthology - From where I shan't return".

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