The Governance Report 2017

Looking at recent developments around the world, it seems that democratic values have come under threat. Experts have, however, disproportionately focused on the problems of democracy, pointing to familiar sets of shortcomings. By contrast, there is less attention to assessing the innovations taking place at local, national and international levels that seek to counteract backsliding and subversion. The Governance Report 2017 focuses on those policies, programmes, and initiatives meant to address the causes of the current democratic malaise, to foster democratic resilience, and to stimulate the (re-)consolidation and development of democratic regimes. The Report’s ambition is to shed light on how to manage and care for democracy itself. Specifically, the Report emphasizes solutions geared toward enhancing citizen participation and improving institutions in various contexts. Going beyond descriptions of best practices, the Report also examines the trade-offs these solutions entail and makes concrete recommendations to policymakers.

With contributions by Helmut K. Anheier, Claus Offe, Ira Katznelson, Wolfgang Merkel, Donatella della Porta et al. 

Table of contents

I. Democracy Challenged

Helmut K. Anheier


II. On Democratic Innovations

Claus Offe


III. Democratic Innovation and the Politics of Fear: Lessons from Eastern Europe

Daniel Smilov


IV. The Contradictions of Democratic Innovation in the United States

Didi Kuo


V. Democratic Innovations: Lessons from Beyond the West

Thamy Pogrebinschi


VI. Democratic Innovations for Re-Engaging Citizens around the World

Matthias Haber


VII. Governing Exigencies:  On Liberal Democracy and National Security

Ewa Atanassow and Ira Katznelson


VIII. The Limits of Democratic Innovations in Established Democracies

Wolfgang Merkel


IX. Democratic Innovations and Social Movements

Donatella Della Porta and Andrea Felicetti


X. Innovations in Activism in the Digital Era: Campaigning for Refugee Rights in 2015–2016

Nina Hall


XI. Democracy and Innovations: A Conceptual Toolbox

Claus Offe


XII. Innovations at a Glance

Helmut Anheier, Sonja Kaufmann, and Regina List



About the Contributors