Recent years have seen civil society face mounting attacks on an unprecedented scale. The pressing question remains: How can civil society respond to this “new normal”? Civil society is rendered more vulnerable because of a lack of strong links to national and local constituencies. By extension, if civil society is able to build and forge these links, civil society actors would become more resilient to restrictions on civic space. This report analyzes best practices and strategies in strengthening ties with domestic constituencies, and proposes important considerations to undertake when implementing these strategies. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
In Western Europe, public views of the news media are divided by populist leanings – more than left-right political positions – according to a new Pew Research Center public opinion survey conducted in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Across all eight countries, those who hold populist views value and trust the news media less, and they also give the media lower marks for coverage of major issues, such as immigration, the economy and crime. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
To combat the global threat of terrorism, countries have passed and implemented numerous laws that inadvertently or intentionally diminished the space for civil society. States conflate terrorism with broader issues of national security, which is then used as a convenient justification to stifle dissent, including civil society actors that aim to hold governments accountable. As the global terror landscape becomes more complex and dire, attacks on the rights to the freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly only increase. This report analyzes the impact of counterterrorism efforts on civic space, examines its manifestations in various socioeconomic and political contexts, and explores various approaches to disentangle and reconcile security and civil society. It features case studies on Australia, Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Hungary, and India. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The partnership between the United States and Europe has been an anchor of the world’s economic, political and security order for more than seven decades. The U.S. relationship with the European Union is the deepest in the world – but we should not take it for granted. Transatlantic relations are at a critical point in their history, and it is necessary to reassess their trajectory, as well as the prospects for EU-U.S. cooperation. In a new publication, CSIS, in partnership with Chatham House, assesses the top policy priorities on both sides of the Atlantic, identifying areas of potential cooperation as well as growing divergences to be managed. United States cooperation with Europe is essential to meeting global challenges – this is a conclusion that every U.S. administration has reached in the past 70 years. Our recommendations seek to strengthen that relationship and promote that community of democratic values that upholds the international order. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Russia’s relations with the West are in deep turmoil. While the competitive dynamic between Russia and the West has come to a head in Ukraine, all of the “in-between” states — Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan — are objects of a contest among outside powers. This contest has become a negative-sum game, benefiting none of the parties: The West and Russia now find themselves locked into a dangerous and damaging competition, while the states in the region remain to varying degrees unstable, unreformed, and rife with conflict. Both Russian and Western policy toward these states has seemingly reached a dead end. Continuing with the status quo will likely perpetuate instability, poor governance, and a long-term Cold War-like atmosphere in West-Russia relations. However, without a credible alternative to the status quo, both the West and Russia seem doomed to continue it. The RAND Corporation convened a working group composed of experts and former policy practitioners from the United States, the European Union, Russia and the in-between states to consider proposals to foster cooperation, reduce tensions, and increase stability. The papers collected here outline these findings and recommendations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Progressive movements promising social, political and economic transformation are the antidote to the anger and fear associated with polarization and populism. The leaders of left-transformative movements pursue serious policymaking to reduce inequality while increasing opportunity and citizen participation, argue Seren Selvin Korkmaz, a Fox International Fellow at Yale University, and Alphan Telek, a PhD candidate at Science Po Paris and Boğaziçi University. The article focuses on the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and the Our Revolution movement led by US Senator Bernie Sanders, but the writers explain that the left-transformative characterization also applies to La France Insoumise, the Five Star Movement in Italy, Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece as well as movements emerging in Iran and Tunisia. The progressive leaders share similar goals, and progress by one lifts others by countering the notion that “the left cannot win elections in the neoliberal era.” Korkmaz and Telek conclude, “Left-transformation is a global phenomenon and can reach its ultimate aims with national and international solidarity.”[Note: contains copyrighted material].
“The Russians and other purveyors of disinformation will constantly improve their tactics; our counter-tactics therefore cannot be static,” write Ambassador Daniel Fried and Dr. Alina Polyakova in Democratic Defense Against Disinformation, a new publication by the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. This report is part of the broader transatlantic effort to identify democratic solutions for countering disinformation in the short term and building societal resistance to it in the long term. [Note: contains copyrighted material].