This project focuses on the difficulties people encounter when they organize, protest and express themselves collectively and how these can be overcome.
Indigenous people protesting against a new hydro-electric dam in Guatemala, citizen’s groups demanding more social justice in Tunisia or NGOs monitoring government corruption in Russia: across the globe civil society has surged in the past decades. However, in the past ten years civil society organisations in many countries have increasingly come under pressure. Collective citizens' efforts, especially when they have political salience, seem to be regarded with increasing suspicion and even to be actively countered in many states. Anti-NGO laws, arbitrary inspections and even harassment and criminalization all strike at the roots of what is often called “civic space”. This trend does not only occur in countries that are dictatorships. They also very often occur in what could be called partial democracies.