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Democracy

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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.

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Corporate lobby groups have created a broad network of influence channels around the G20, with the Business20 (B20) at its core. At the G20 Sherpa meeting in Frankfurt on 23-24 March the B20 presents its policy recommendations to the governments. It is time to counterbalance the corporate influence in the G20.

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Especially three developments appear to have caused Wilders’ “defeat” in the election. Still, the next Dutch government will chose a centre-right course on social-economic, climate and immigration policies.

Ecology

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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.

In this series of podcasts, we explore pathways for climate justice in the Anthropocene - a geological epoch shaped by humans. We take our listeners on a journey to find out how we can reach the Paris goals.

Can and should the global climate be regulated by technological means, the so called geoengineering? In our first episode of our podcast "Tipping point" our host took off to hear from experts what these approaches mean for the planet’s environment and society.

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.

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Apart from the G20’s apparent lack of effective strategy and implementation of its own pledges, its growth vision lacks full coherence with sustainable development. Instead of wishfully hoping to retrace an economic growth trajectory of the past, the G20 should advance coherent sustainable development.

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The G20 is promoting a new investment paradigm for itself and inviting the world to follow suit. What are the stated G20 goals and commitments in relation to this topic? What does “investment” mean? What is the progress so far and what are the challenges in relation to this topic? What is the desired future direction of the G20 with respect to the topic?

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.

An interview with migration expert Amr Taha. He is heading the office of International Organization of Migration in Egypt and . In the interview, he talks about on Egypt as a host country of migrants and refugees, as well as a point of departure for migrants heading to Europe.

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European policymakers were astonished by Trump’s recent remarks on NATO and the EU in an interview with Bild and The Times. Europe should be prepared for pivotal changes in U.S. foreign policy and transatlantic relations.

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.

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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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