Public event

The return of civic activism. How a new generation of civil society activists answer democratic challenges

Civil society organisations promoting open society enjoyed enormous expansion in the developing and post-Communist worlds of the 1990s. Today, they face serious contestation from groups with different values and states that fear their legitimacy and want to control them, as well as persistent underfunding. What new actions are civil society groups taking, how are governments reacting to these and which groups should the international community support? Join us for a discussion with authors of a recent Carnegie Europe report, Civic Activism in Flux, and with Helmut K. Anheier, President of the Hertie School and co-author of a report for the G20 on enabling policy environments for civil society.

The event will be followed by a light reception.

Panel discussion

Helmut K. Anheier is President of the Hertie School and Professor of Sociology. His research centres on indicator systems, social innovation, culture, philanthropy, and organisational studies. He also holds a Chair of Sociology at Heidelberg University and serves as Academic Director of the Centre for Social Investment.

Natalia Shapovalova is a researcher based in Kyiv and an Associate Research Fellow at Vesalius College, Brussels. She worked for FRIDE, a European think tank based in Madrid and Brussels, and the International Center for Policy Studies in Kyiv. She has a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick.

Richard Youngs is a Senior Fellow in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at Carnegie Europe. He works on EU foreign policy and on issues of international democracy. Prior to joining Carnegie in July 2013, he was the Director of the European think tank FRIDE. He has held positions in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as an EU Marie Curie Fellow.

Özge Zihnioğlu is Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Kültür University in Turkey. Her main research interests include the EU’s civil society policy, Turkish civil society, and Turkey-EU relations. She holds a PhD from Boğaziçi University and was a fellow at Yale University. In 2015, she received the Science Academy’s Young Scientist Award in Turkey.


Alina Mungiu-Pippidi is Professor of Democracy Studies at the Hertie School and leader of Clean Romania!, an anticorruption civil society coalition. Her research centres on anti-corruption policy and good governance. Mungiu-Pippidi chairs the European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building (ERCAS) where she manages the FP7 research project ANTICORRP, and the Horizon 2020 project DIGIWHIST.