Civil society groups are simultaneously responding to the pandemic’s direct impacts and looking to a post-pandemic future. Many economic, political, and geostrategic challenges are shaping their thinking and their strategies.
The pandemic is spurring elite and grassroots civic actors to cooperate more, but the gulf between them remains wide. Civic actors must seize the opportunity for reform on open government issues.
Many protest movements have adapted to coronavirus-related restrictions as they fold new public health and economic concerns into their lists of governance grievances.
The coronavirus is catalyzing new forms of civic activism. International supporters of civil society should step up their efforts to bolster these local responses.
Carnegie’s new Global Protest Tracker reveals the nuances overlooked by many common theories about the recent wave of demonstrations around the world.
Civic space—the fundamental freedoms that allow people to gather, communicate, and take part in groups to influence society and politics—is the bedrock of any democracy. But it is increasingly vulnerable.
Mass protests garner significant attention, but what happens next is just as vital for achieving real and lasting change.
As space for civil society continues to close, the international community must redouble its efforts to defend the right of civic activists to hold governments around the world accountable.
In Europe, initiatives to increase citizen participation have made substantial progress, but there are severe difficulties to overcome if these participative forums are to address the core issues of democratic decline and contribute more significantly to its restoration.
Producing more efficacious funding of civic space requires international aid and policy actors to face questions on the nature of closing civic space, how to address it, where to target funding, and how to mitigate against any unintended consequences of aid.