Re-imagining Democracy 2018
Each year, as part of our State of Civil Society Report, we examine a key current trend that impacts on civil society, and to which civil society is responding. In 2018, our ‘reimagining democracy’ theme focuses on current challenges to democratic freedoms and democratic practice around the world, and civil society’s work to make democracy real.

Our analysis is of, from and for civil society. We’re working with a diverse range of civil society, who are giving their views in multiple ways, including commissioned perspectives, open submissions, interviews, creative expressions and reports from democracy dialogues. We share these below, and will continue to add these during 2018.

Stories from the frontlines

Case studies from different countries of challenges encountered, civil society action to realise democratic freedoms and improve democratic practices, and lessons learned.
Autocracy behind a democratic facade: the political regime in Turkey

Autocracy behind a democratic facade: the political regime in Turkey

Guest article by Ertuğ Tombuş,
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Ahora que estamos juntas, ahora que sí nos ven: El debate por la Ley de Interrupción Voluntaria del Embarazo en Argentina

Ahora que estamos juntas, ahora que sí nos ven: El debate por la Ley de…

Por María Alicia Gutiérrez, docente e investigadora de la Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) e…
Pressure increasing on Argentine civil society, a vital force for change

Pressure increasing on Argentine civil society, a vital force for change

Guest article by Gastón Chillier, Executive Director of the Centre for Legal and Social Studies…
Facing a crisis of democracy, Japan’s civil society groups fight for accountability

Facing a crisis of democracy, Japan’s civil society groups fight for accountability

Guest article by Yukiko Miki, Chairperson, Access-info Clearinghouse Japan
Human rights defenders securing the right to vote in Kenya

Human rights defenders securing the right to vote in Kenya

Guest article by Kamau Ngugi and Yvonne Owino-Wamari, National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders -…
Myanmar: Under the name of democracy, the military rules

Myanmar: Under the name of democracy, the military rules

Guest article by Thinzar Shunlei Yi, Advocacy Coordinator, Action Committee for Democracy Development
Cuban civil society: survival, struggle, defiance and compliance

Cuban civil society: survival, struggle, defiance and compliance

Guest article by Lennier López, Sociologist, Florida International University and Armando Chaguaceda, Political Scientist, Universidad…
Les tensions du multiculturalisme au Canada et les limites du modèle interculturel du Québec

Les tensions du multiculturalisme au Canada et les limites du modèle interculturel du Québec

Par Victor Armony, professeur de sociologie et codirecteur de l’Observatoire des diasporas du Centre de…
Citizens’ voices: defending democracy in Tanzania

Citizens’ voices: defending democracy in Tanzania

Open submission by Aidan Eyakuze, Executive Director of Twaweza East Africa
La nécessité de la revalorisation de la liberté d’expression dans la République Démocratique du Congo

La nécessité de la revalorisation de la liberté d’expression dans la République Démocratique du Congo

Réponse à l’appel ouvert par Diamena-Lema Matundu, activiste pour un Congo Libre
The will of civil society to promote and defend democracy in Asia

The will of civil society to promote and defend democracy in Asia

Guest article by Ichal Supriadi, Asia Democracy Network
Democratising the policy dialogue on SDG localisation: the experience of the League of Professional Women in Ukraine

Democratising the policy dialogue on SDG localisation: the experience of the League of Professional Women…

Open submission by Dr Olena Lazorenko, President of the League of Professional Women and Senior…
Age qualifications to hold political office: a civil society experience from Nigeria

Age qualifications to hold political office: a civil society experience from Nigeria

Open contribution by Henry Udemeh, Grassroots Development Support and Rural Enlightenment Initiative (GDEV), Nigeria
Learning how to live and to act in free conditions

Learning how to live and to act in free conditions

Guest article by Artur Sakunts, Chair, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor, Armenia
Community giving as a vehicle for democracy: Practical experiences from Palestine

Community giving as a vehicle for democracy: Practical experiences from Palestine

Open submission by Aisha Mansour, Lina Ismail, Nermin Hwaihi and Rasha Sansur, Dalia Association
Consolidating democracy in Nigeria: the need to promote electoral integrity

Consolidating democracy in Nigeria: the need to promote electoral integrity

Open submission by Okezie Kelechukwu, Executive Director, Neighbourhood Environment Watch (NEW) Foundation,
Reimagining democracy in Zambia

Reimagining democracy in Zambia

Open submission by Alex Mutale
Tomar agua nos da vida; tomar conciencia nos dará agua

Tomar agua nos da vida; tomar conciencia nos dará agua

Contribución de membresía, por Adriana Inés Ávila Zárate, con el apoyo de todo el Movimiento…
Reimaginando la relación entre la sociedad civil y el sector religioso en América Latina: nuevas alianzas para enfrentar viejos retos

Reimaginando la relación entre la sociedad civil y el sector religioso en América Latina: nuevas…

Contribución de membresía, por Gina Romero (Redlad) y Nicolás Panotto (GEMRIP)
Is there hope for a human rights-respecting culture in Bahrain?

Is there hope for a human rights-respecting culture in Bahrain?

Guest article by Nedal Al-Salman and Kristina Stockwood
Citizens’ Freedoms in Chains in Zambia?

Citizens’ Freedoms in Chains in Zambia?

Guest article by McDonald Chipenzi
Argentina: Un desafío para la sociedad civil en pleno

Argentina: Un desafío para la sociedad civil en pleno

Por Pablo Secchi y Karina Kalpschtrej, Poder Ciudadano (Argentina)
Crises électorales, conflits et programmes d’éducation civique en République Démocratique du Congo

Crises électorales, conflits et programmes d’éducation civique en République Démocratique du Congo

Réponse à l’appel ouvert par Jonas Habimana, Bureau d’Information Formation pour l’Echanges et les Recherches…
La démocratie de façade en République Démocratique du Congo

La démocratie de façade en République Démocratique du Congo

Réponse à l’appel ouvert par l’Action Contre les Violations des Droits des Personnes Vulnérables (ACVDP)
How SLAPPs undermine democracy: a case study of the USA

How SLAPPs undermine democracy: a case study of the USA

Open submission by Charlie Holt, Legal Counsel, Greenpeace International
Ethiopia: the need for comprehensive, speedy and inclusive reform

Ethiopia: the need for comprehensive, speedy and inclusive reform

Guest article by Fisseha Tekle, Amnesty International
Democratic reform through the use of community arts

Democratic reform through the use of community arts

Open submission by Mohammad Issa, General Manager, Yes Theatre for Communication among Youth, Palestine
Piecemeal application of freedom of association: the case of Malawi

Piecemeal application of freedom of association: the case of Malawi

Open submission by Edward Chaka, Executive Director, Peoples Federation for National Peace and Development (PEFENAP),…
Voluntary Income and Asset Declaration Online – the  case of Cambodia

Voluntary Income and Asset Declaration Online – the case of Cambodia

Open submission by Mears Samnang Kuy, Accountability Cambodia
Democratic backsliding and civil society response in Hungary

Democratic backsliding and civil society response in Hungary

Guest article by Veronika Móra, Ökotárs - Hungarian Environmental Partnership Foundation
Germany: dare more democracy

Germany: dare more democracy

Guest article by Burkhard Gnärig

Overviews

Global perspectives on key aspects of the theme.
Gaining ground against rising illiberalism

Gaining ground against rising illiberalism

Guest article by Edwin Rekosh, Rights CoLab
How United Nations reform can support a reimagined democracy

How United Nations reform can support a reimagined democracy

Guest article by Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief, New York Office, United Nations Conference on Trade…
The role of children in reimagining democracy: what would it take for a generation of children to be considered part of democratic societies?

The role of children in reimagining democracy: what would it take for a generation of…

Guest article by Sarah Rose and Ulrika Cilliers, Save the Children
Feminist agendas, democratic processes

Feminist agendas, democratic processes

Guest article by Tulika Srivastava, Women’s Fund Asia
Populism and human rights: a new playbook

Populism and human rights: a new playbook

Guest article by César Rodríguez-Garavito and Krizna Gomez, Dejusticia, Colombia
Internal democracy within transnationally operating non-governmental organisations: are we as democratic as we think?

Internal democracy within transnationally operating non-governmental organisations: are we as democratic as we think?

Guest article by Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, Director, Transnational NGO Initiative, Syracuse University, USA
Bending the arc of democracy

Bending the arc of democracy

Guest article by Lopa Banerjee, Director, Civil Society Division, UN Women
A return to the democratic spirit

A return to the democratic spirit

Guest article by Thomas E Garrett, Secretary General, Community of Democracies
Let’s imagine global citizen participation at the UN

Let’s imagine global citizen participation at the UN

Guest article by Andreas Bummel, Executive Director, Democracy Without Borders
What can save democracy?

What can save democracy?

Ryota Jonen, World Movement for Democracy
Reimagining our organisations

Reimagining our organisations

Guest article by Pauline Martin
Whither democracy in an age of renewed populism?

Whither democracy in an age of renewed populism?

Guest article by Kendra Dupuy, Senior Researcher, Peace Research Institute Oslo
Analysis and perspectives: Democracy, governance, science-policy and societal organisation: an ecosystemic approach to public policies, research and teaching programmes

Analysis and perspectives: Democracy, governance, science-policy and societal organisation: an ecosystemic approach to public policies,…

Open submission by André Francisco Pilon, University of São Paulo, Brazil / International Academy of…

Democracy Dialogues

Short reports from informal and interactive group sessions, convened by CIVICUS members, on key aspects of reimagining democracy in different contexts.
DRC: Rapport du Dialogue sur la Démocratie: 12 Juillet 2018

DRC: Rapport du Dialogue sur la Démocratie: 12 Juillet 2018

Dialogue sur la Démocratie organisé Yole!Africa, Goma, 12 Juillet 2018
Panama: Informe de Diálogo sobre Democracia: 17 de junio de 2018

Panama: Informe de Diálogo sobre Democracia: 17 de junio de 2018

Diálogo sobre Democracia organizado por la organización Consumo Ético. Valle del Riscó, 17 de junio…
Bolivia: Informe de Diálogo sobre Democracia: 20 y 27 de agosto de 2018

Bolivia: Informe de Diálogo sobre Democracia: 20 y 27 de agosto de 2018

Diálogo sobre Democracia organizado por el Centro de Estudios y Apoyo al Desarrollo Local (CEADL).…
India: Democracy Dialogue Report: 26 August 2018

India: Democracy Dialogue Report: 26 August 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by The Blue Ribbon Movement in Mumbai, India, 26 August 2018
Bangladesh: Democracy Dialogue Report: 8 September 2018

Bangladesh: Democracy Dialogue Report: 8 September 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by the Aathung Foundation in Bandarban, Bangladesh, 8 September 2018
Philippines: Democracy Dialogue Report: 19 August 2018

Philippines: Democracy Dialogue Report: 19 August 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights in Rodriguez, Rizal,…
Pakistan: Democracy Dialogue Report: 17 August 2018

Pakistan: Democracy Dialogue Report: 17 August 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by Blue Veins in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 17 August 2018
Argentina: Informe de Diálogo sobre Democracia: 27 de agosto de 2018

Argentina: Informe de Diálogo sobre Democracia: 27 de agosto de 2018

Diálogo sobre Democracia convocado por la Lic. Gabriela Boada y organizado por el Centro Cultural…
México: Informe de Diálogo sobre Democracia: 29 de agosto de 2018

México: Informe de Diálogo sobre Democracia: 29 de agosto de 2018

Diálogo sobre Democracia convocado por el Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía (Cemefi) y coordinado por…
The Gambia: Democracy Dialogue Report: 4 August 2018

The Gambia: Democracy Dialogue Report: 4 August 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by the Global Youth Innovation Network-Gambia chapter and the Network of Freelance…
Togo: Rapport du Dialogue sur la Démocratie: 8 Juillet 2018

Togo: Rapport du Dialogue sur la Démocratie: 8 Juillet 2018

Dialogue sur la Démocratie organisé par Amis des Étrangers au Togo, Lomé, 8 Juillet 2018
Ecuador: Informe de Diálogo sobre Democracia: 21 de agosto de 2018

Ecuador: Informe de Diálogo sobre Democracia: 21 de agosto de 2018

Diálogo sobre Democracia organizado por la Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo y la Universidad de los…
Burundi: Rapport du Dialogue sur la Démocratie: 17 août 2018

Burundi: Rapport du Dialogue sur la Démocratie: 17 août 2018

Dialogue sur la Démocratie organisé par l’Association des Amis de la Nature, Kampala, 17 août…
Uganda: Democracy Dialogue Report: 7 August 2018

Uganda: Democracy Dialogue Report: 7 August 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by Action for Humanitarian Initiatives in Uganda, 7 August 2018
Tajikistan: Democracy Dialogue Report: 28 July 2018

Tajikistan: Democracy Dialogue Report: 28 July 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by the Tajikistan National NGO Association, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 28 July 2018
Nigeria: Democracy Dialogue Report: 18 July 2018

Nigeria: Democracy Dialogue Report: 18 July 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by Girls Education Mission International in Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria, 18 July…
Nepal: Democracy Dialogue Report: 29 July 2018

Nepal: Democracy Dialogue Report: 29 July 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by the Dignity Initiative, Butwal, Nepal, 29 July 2018
Kenya: Democracy Dialogue Report: 3 August 2018

Kenya: Democracy Dialogue Report: 3 August 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by the Elgeyo Marakwet Civil Society Network, Elgeyo Karakwet county, Kenya, 3…
Trinidad and Tobago: Democracy Dialogue Report: 3 August 2018

Trinidad and Tobago: Democracy Dialogue Report: 3 August 2018

Democracy Dialogue held by the Network of NGOs of Trinidad and Tobago for the Advancement…
Fiji: Democracy Dialogue Report: 8 December 2017

Fiji: Democracy Dialogue Report: 8 December 2017

Democracy dialogue held with youth participants as part of International Civil Society Week, Fiji, 8…
South Africa: Democracy Dialogue Report: 18 May 2018

South Africa: Democracy Dialogue Report: 18 May 2018

Democracy dialogue held with CIVICUS staff, Johannesburg, 18 May 2018
Switzerland: Democracy Dialogue Report: 16 November 2017

Switzerland: Democracy Dialogue Report: 16 November 2017

Democracy dialogue held with representatives of international civil society organisations, CIVICUS Geneva office, 16 November…

Interviews

In-depth conversations with civil society activists and leaders about their work to promote democratic freedoms and better democratic practice, the challenges they encounter and the victories they score.

Video Interviews

Short videos showcasing activists’ responses to two basic questions: what isn’t working with democracy where you are? And what can you do about it?

Youth Artivism

Critical ideas, perspectives and hopes about democracy, participation and inclusion in written, graphic, audiovisual and musical form

International Youth Day Symposium Winners

International Youth Day Symposium Winner, Written Category
International Youth Day Symposium Winner, Visual Category
International Youth Day Symposium Winner, Multimedia Category

South Africa Youth Day Symposium Winners

South African Youth Day Symposium Winner, Written Category
South Africa Youth Day Symposium Winner, Visual Category
South African Youth Day Symposium Winner, Multimedia Category
International Youth Day Symposium Call for Submission

In Search of Silenced Voices

What does democracy mean to you? How are youth in your community putting democracy into action? What do you see as threats to democracy today? What does your ideal democracy look like?

Through Arts and Imagination’ is a global contest seeking bold and original creative arts submissions – music, poetry, art, multimedia – that present youth perspectives on Re-imagining Democracy.  To celebrate International Youth Day on 12 August 2018, the Youth Working Group at CIVICUS,  a global civil society alliance, would like to create space for the voices of silenced youth to be heard.  CIVICUS wants to provide an opportunity for youth to express a vision of democracy reimagined. You will not only get the chance to make your voice heard by a global audience, but you will also get a chance to help a cause of your choice!