KAS International report (2, 2017): The Fight for Democracy
Democracy is not a matter of course, as a glance beyond our immediate horizon illustrates. To paraphrase Konrad Adenauer, democracy must be filled with life every day and, where necessary, defended vigorously, both internally and externally. 50 years after his death, this dictum by the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany holds true now more than ever, as is shown by Christopher Walker in his article for this issue. He illustrates that for some time now, we have been witnessing how authoritarian regimes are attempting to increasingly expand their influence beyond their own borders. There is a need to take decisive and swift action to put an end to this “globalisation of authoritarianism”.
In his “Interjection”, Frank Priess also sees cause for concern in view of these developments. Nevertheless, he believes that one should not overlook the many positive developments made in advancing democracy and the rule of law that have taken place throughout the world since World War II, and he commends trying to take a differentiated view.
A look at Latin America illustrates the importance of strong civil societies for democratic structures to develop and persist; after a phase during which mainly socialist-style governments dominated the continent, the Western-liberal idea is once again on the rise. Kristin Wesemann and David Brähler describe how civil societies are putting pressure on their governments and the established political parties to allow them a greater say.