What is the future of democracy like

The progressive center

Three insights guide our work in the Future of Democracy program area:

  1. The core idea of ​​democracy is very popular. But the good functioning of democracy seems to be increasingly being called into question. Demands for more participation in political opinion-forming and decision-making processes, for transparency and broader representation are growing stronger. Such Demands for progress are the democratic normal, because democracy is always process-based.
  2. At the same time, liberal-democratic systems are under enormous pressure in many places: in many countries, democratic processes are being abused to implement authoritarian political approaches, and right-wing populist movements are enjoying popularity across Europe. These Attacks on democracy must be fought off decisively.
  3. Democracy is the only political system known to us in which the The future is open and yet can be shaped is. The future can be understood as a linear continuation of the past. An approach that seems inadequate in the light of massive transformations, such as the change to a climate-neutral and digital world. But shaping the future can also be seen as prevention work: What must happen so that X does not happen? This approach is often used, especially in times of crisis. Another approach is to see the future as a space of possibility for the desirable: What has to happen for X to occur?

In the defense and further development of democracy and in shaping the future through democracy, parties and state institutions, non-governmental organizations and other forms of social initiatives play an important mediating role. The media landscape, the scientific spectrum, as well as artists and cultural workers are further central areas of our public. The economic sector and education also bear great responsibility for social cohesion and democratic conditions.

As the “Future of Democracy” program area in the Progressive Center, we work at the interface between these areas. We create knowledge, form networks, experiment and summarize. We network, think, argue. The main topics that we have given ourselves are: right-wing populism and authoritarianism, representation and participation, as well as innovation and visions. Some of our projects focus on Germany, another on Europe.