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Online conference

Thursday, 10. February 2022 10:00 am – 12:30 pm Save in my calendar
Thursday, 10. February 2022 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm Save in my calendar
Friday, 11. February 2022 10:00 am – 11:30 am Save in my calendar
Friday, 11. February 2022 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm Save in my calendar
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Online conference

The Pandemic and Global Democracy

The COVID-19 pandemic has further intensified the already existing trend of weakening democracies and increasingly repressive autocracies. The conference sheds light on these global trends and the effects of COVID-19 on democratic governance in the following four panels:

Part 1
February 10th, 10:00 am - 10:45 pm (CET) 

Kick-off discussion on the democracy crisis
How has the pandemic impacted the global fabric of democracy and human rights?
Has health injustice deepened the democracy crisis?
How do we prepare for the major challenges ahead?

Barbara Unmüßig, President of the Heinrich-Böll Foundation will discuss these questions in a conversation with

  • Katja Keul, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin
  • Fatima Hassan, Health Justice Initiative, South Africa

Panel 1
11:00 am - 12:30 pm (CET) 

The Pandemic: Challenges to Democracy
How do the measures that governments around the world have employed to combat the pandemic pose new challenges to democracy?
What do we know from existing analyses?
What do the recent democracy indexes tell us about the status quo and future trends?
What risks and democratic safeguards do we need to be aware of?

With (among others):

  • Sabine Donner, Bertelsmann Transformation Index, Gütersloh
  • Péter Krekó, Political Capital Institute, Budapest
  • Stefanos Loukopoulos, Vouliwatch, Athens


Part 2
February 10th,
4:00 pm - 5: 30 pm (CET)

Panel 2
The abuse of the pandemic as an instrument of repression
Where has the pandemic been used as an instrument of repression?
Which patterns have emerged and what mechanisms have been employed to perpetuate restrictive measures?
Has digital surveillance and tracking increased?

With (among others):

  • Carlos Dada, El Faro, El Salvador
  • Diana Salinas, Cuestión Pública, Bogotá
  • Bahruz Samadov, Charles University, Prague

Part 3
February 11th, 10:00 am - 11:30 pm (CET) 

Panel 3
New barriers inhibit civil society action and participation

Hampered by flight restrictions, closed borders and the lack of vaccines, how can progressive civil society influence global fora and negotiations?
How do we avoid that civil society from the Global South and East is excluded?
What are the intersectional implications and effects on feminist mobilisation?
How did the pandemic affect artists and cultural spaces?

With (among others):

  • Khoo Ying Hooi, Department of International and Strategic Studies, Universiti Malaya,
  • Vijayan MJ, Carnegie Civic Research Network, New Delhi
  • Zulfiqar Shah, Journalist, Writer and Human Rights Activist, Pakistan

Part 4
February 11th, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm (CET)

Panel 4
How to reclaim Democracy: New opportunities for civil society mobilisation?

How did progressive civil society transform?
How did activists adapt and innovate their approaches, strategies and methods?
What can we learn to help us support democratic actors in the future?

With (among others):

  • Coumba Touré, Africans Rising, Dakar
  • Richard Youngs, Carnegie Europe, Brussels
  • Vicente Paolo Yu, Third World Network, Geneva


Conference Language: English, German and Spanish. Simultaneous translation will be provided.


» Online participation in ZOOM

The access information will be sent to you by email 24 hours and then 2 hours prior to the event. 
You can use either the Zoom Client software or the app. If you are using either the Chrome or Edge browsers you will be able to participate directly via the access link. For more information on how to use Zoom, click here.
Please make sure that you are using the latest version of Zoom so that you have the necessary settings. You will need a microphone and possibly a camera for events with audience participation.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation is not liable for issues arising from the use of Zoom software. Zoom's current privacy policy can be found here.

Alternatively, you can follow the event via the livestream

» Our privacy policy applies.

➽ Online Event
Heinrich Böll Foundation - Headquarters Berlin
Simultaneous translation
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