Studies 09/12/2022

Political Parties and Civil Society – The Need for Stronger Linkages to Defend and Promote Democracy

Democracy is under threat worldwide. And one of the reasons for the decline of democracy is the failure of political parties to perform appropriately and to collaborate with other segments of the society, especially civil society organisations. This leads to a loss of trust in previously dominant or well-respected parties, the fragmentation of party systems, and the (re-)emergence of populist and nationalist leaders who destroy the foundations of liberal representative democracy.

In this process, political parties are both the victims and the perpetrators of the decline of democracy. Above all, however, they are part of the solution. Exploring the topic in five target countries: Benin, Kenya, Cambodia, the Philippines and Bolivia, this study addresses the interplay between political parties and civil society organisations. It sets the framework and criteria to ensure the highest possible inclusiveness of citizens, taking into account the political context and overall democratic structure of the countries in focus.

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