Projects / Resilient democracy


Our Vision: Cultivating Resilience Against Authoritarian Populism

The Gravity of the Situation:

Emerging democracies in Central Europe find themselves confronted by a pressing danger to the very foundations of democratic governance, posed by the rise of authoritarian populism. This concerning trend is underscored by Freedom House's annual "Nations in Transit" survey, which has recorded a distressing erosion of democratic values for the 19th consecutive year. Disturbingly, recent findings from the STEM survey reveal that nearly half of Czech citizens are now open to the idea of an authoritarian leader.

Root Causes:

  • Authoritarian Tendencies and Populism: Some politicians may resort to populism and authoritarian methods as a means to garner support and solidify their influence. This often involves emotional manipulation and a desire to centralize power, posing a significant threat to democratic institutions.
  • Restrictions on Media Freedom: Independent media plays a vital role in any democracy by providing citizens with the information necessary to critically assess government actions. Restrictions on media freedom can undermine transparency and accountability.
  • Nationalism and Identity Politics:Politicians sometimes leverage nationalism and identity politics to garner support, a tactic that can lead to social polarization and the subsequent erosion of democratic values.
  • Lack of Political Participation:When citizens lack the motivation or opportunity to engage in political processes, the democratic foundation of a nation can weaken, resulting in an underrepresented and disengaged populace.

Furthermore, populists often exploit various societal issues, including the rights of the LGBTI+ community and feminism, among others, to further deepen divisions within society. Media coverage by populists tends to frame these issues in a non-constructive manner, often fueling attacks, hate speech, and exacerbating divisions. Failure to fortify our democratic values and principles can have serious consequences, including the risk of transitioning into authoritarianism, the imposition of restrictions on freedoms, marginalization of minority groups, and economic instability. Democracy is a constantly evolving construct under constant threat, and it is our collective duty to confront and address these challenges head-on.

Our Strategy:

  • Monitoring and Analysis of Democracy: Our primary approach involves the continuous monitoring and in-depth analysis of the state of democracy within the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Our focus lies in identifying both emerging threats and potential opportunities within the region.
  • Journalist Support: We are dedicated to providing steadfast support to journalists operating in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. Recognizing the indispensable role of a free and independent press in upholding democracy, we actively contribute to the preservation of a vibrant media landscape.
  • Cooperation with NGOs: We engage in close collaboration with various non- governmental organizations (NGOs) to champion and promote democratic values. Through this partnership, we work diligently to foster a robust civil society that actively upholds democratic principles.

Democracy is a living system, requiring our constant care. It's a shared duty to safeguard and nourish the foundation upon which our vibrant societies flourish.