Civil society actors around the world are grappling with competition between values systems. Rising geopolitical tensions affect international civil society and its role in this shifting global order.
The mismatch between how the EU perceives its international role and how it is viewed abroad is glaring at times. Whereas the union sees itself as a champion of multilateralism and a generous donor, those in the Global South frequently criticize the EU as being hypocritical, self-serving, and post-colonial.
Climate-vulnerable countries delivered an extraordinary COP against all odds. The EU’s support for their leadership and astute negotiation tactics also contributed to making Sharm El-Sheikh more successful than meets the eye.
Countries around the world are struggling to bridge the gap between citizens and political elites. Innovative practices outside the West, while far from ideal, should be considered in debates about democratic renewal in Europe.
Kenya’s electoral process and democratic progress offer lessons for other countries in the Horn of Africa. However, further reforms are needed to strengthen the judiciary, enhance women’s political representation, and support civic spaces.
The promotion of the rule of law across borders should be implemented based on clear and objective standards, and distinguished from state-building exercises.
Democracy support organizations are struggling to maintain operations in states with hostile environments. They need to reassess their approach in such countries and seek to address the political drivers of repression.
In this era of geopolitical competition, Europe believes it offers an approach based upon multilateralism and international solidarity. To convince others of this viable alternative, Europe must better understand perceptions in the Global South and improve its own international standing.
Innovative forms of deliberative and participatory democracy from outside the West can inspire reform in European states.