Shaping Democracy

Democratic institutions are increasingly under pressure – globally, throughout Europe and within Germany. We are committed to helping achieve diverse democracies with high levels of transparency, citizen participation, balanced budgets and sustainable policymaking.

Europe’s Future

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In front of the Reichstag building in Berlin there is a sign pointing to a polling station.


The 2017 Bundestag Election: Election results reveal new line of conflict in Germany’s democracy

The social divide in voter turnout for an election of Germany’s federal parliament noticeably decreased. However, the election results simultaneously reveal a new line of conflict: between skeptics and supporters of modernization. read more

International Governance

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On a street of the Venezuelan capital Caracas, soldiers wearing helmets and shields are watching a protesting group of people in the distance. Between them and the protesters there is a fire burning on the street. It is night, a few street lights illuminate the street.

BTI 2018

Democracy under Pressure: Polarization and Repression Are Increasing Worldwide

Restrictions on free speech, unfair elections and populist hunger for power – it is by no means just autocrats who have been tightening the screw of repression. Governments in democracies have also increasingly been trying to govern with a hard hand. And social division is deeper than it has been for a long time. Our current Transformation Index BTI shows what is behind this development, and which countries have been particularly affected. read more

Destroyed street in Homs, Syria

Brief Overview

Seven Years of Syrian Civil War

The conflict began with social and political protests, escalated into a civil war and developed into a proxy war of various actors. Half of the Syrian population have either fled abroad or been displaced within the country. read more

View from a mountain on the Tunisian peninsula Cap Bon on parts of the peninsula and the Mediterranean Sea which surrounds it.


Our sea, our problems, our solutions

The consequences of the crises and conflicts among Europe's southern neighbours are being clearly felt here too. It is time for the EU to revive its Mediterranean policy, argues our Middle East expert Christian Hanelt. read more