Prager Aufruf für demo­kra­ti­sche Erneuerung


Am 26. Mai 2017 veröf­fent­lichte die inter­na­tio­nale Koalition für demo­kra­ti­sche Erneue­rung (Coalition for Demo­cratic Renewal – CDR) den Prager Aufruf. Wir doku­men­tieren hier den Wortlaut des Aufrufs im engli­schen Original. Infor­ma­tionen zur Koalition finden Sie am Ende des Aufrufs. 

The Prague Appeal for Demo­cratic Renewal

Adopted in Prague on May 26, 2017

Liberal democracy is under threat, and all who cherish it must come to its defense.

Democracy is threa­tened from without by despotic regimes in Russia, China, and other countries that are tigh­tening repres­sion intern­ally and expanding their power globally, filling vacuums left by the fading power, influence, and self-confi­dence of the long-estab­lished demo­cra­cies. The autho­ri­ta­rians are using old weapons of hard power as well as new social media and a growing arsenal of soft power to create a post-demo­cratic world order in which norms of human rights and the rule of law are replaced by the principle of absolute state sovereignty.

Democracy is also being threa­tened from within. Illi­be­ra­lism is on the rise in Turkey, Hungary, the Phil­ip­pines, Venezuela, and other backsli­ding demo­cra­cies. In other countries – even long-estab­lished demo­cra­cies – support for liberal democracy has eroded in recent years, espe­ci­ally among younger people who have no memory of the struggles against tota­li­ta­ria­nism. Faith in demo­cratic insti­tu­tions has been declining for some time, as govern­ments seem unable to cope with the complex new chal­lenges of globa­liza­tion, political processes appear incre­asingly sclerotic and dysfunc­tional, and the bureau­cra­cies managing both national and global insti­tu­tions seem remote and over­bea­ring. Compoun­ding the diffi­cul­ties, terrorist violence has created a climate of fear that is used by despots and demago­gues to justify autho­ri­ta­rian power and rest­ric­tions on freedoms.

Such problems have caused wide­spread anxiety, hostility to political elites and cynicism about democracy – feelings that have fueled the rise of anti-system political movements and parties. These senti­ments, in turn, have been stoked and inflamed by autho­ri­ta­rian disin­for­ma­tion, which incre­asingly pene­trates the media space of the demo­cra­cies. The latest Freedom House survey shows that political rights and civil liberties have been on the decline for eleven conse­cu­tive years, and this year estab­lished demo­cra­cies dominate the list of countries suffering setbacks in freedom.

Coll­ec­tively, these factors – the geopo­li­tical retreat of the West, the resur­gence of autho­ri­ta­rian political forces, the erosion of belief in demo­cratic values, and the loss of faith in the efficacy of demo­cratic insti­tu­tions – have brought a historic halt to demo­cratic progress and threaten a possible “reverse wave” of demo­cratic break­downs. Democracy’s supporters must unite to halt the retreat and to organize a new coalition for its moral, intellec­tual, and political renewal.

The starting point of a new campaign for democracy is a reaf­fir­ma­tion of the funda­mental prin­ci­ples that have inspired the expansion of modern democracy since its birth more than two centuries ago. These prin­ci­ples are rooted in a belief in the dignity of the human person and in the convic­tion that liberal democracy is the political system that can best safeguard this dignity and allow it to flourish. Among these prin­ci­ples are funda­mental human rights including the basic freedoms of expres­sion, asso­cia­tion, and religion; political and social pluralism; the existence of a vibrant civil society that empowers citizens at the grass roots; the regular election of govern­ment officials through a truly free, fair, open, and compe­ti­tive process; ample oppor­tu­ni­ties beyond elections for citizens to parti­ci­pate and voice their concerns; govern­ment trans­pa­rency and accoun­ta­bi­lity, secured both through strong checks and balances in the consti­tu­tional system and through civil society oversight; a vigorous rule of law, ensured by an inde­pen­dent judiciary; a market economy that is free of corrup­tion and provides oppor­tu­nity for all; and a demo­cratic culture of tolerance, civility, and non-violence.

These prin­ci­ples are being chal­lenged today not only by apolo­gists for illi­be­ra­lism and xeno­phobia, but also by rela­ti­vist intellec­tuals who deny that any form of govern­ment can be defended as superior. Although democracy is often considered a Western idea, its most fervent defenders today are people in non-Western societies who continue to fight for demo­cratic freedoms against daunting odds. Their struggles affirm the univer­sa­lity of the demo­cratic idea, and their example can help bring about a new birth of demo­cratic convic­tion in the world’s advanced democracies.

Despite its intrinsic value, democracy’s survival cannot be assured unless it can demons­trate its ability to help societies meet the chal­lenges of a changing and unstable world. We acknow­ledge the deep anxiety and inse­cu­rity of large segments of demo­cratic societies and believe that democracy will be strong only if no group is left behind.

While democracy embodies universal values, it exists in a parti­cular national context, what Vaclav Havel called the “intellec­tual, spiritual, and cultural tradi­tions that breathe substance into it and give it meaning.” Demo­cratic citi­zen­ship, rooted in such tradi­tions, needs to be streng­thened, not allowed to atrophy in an era of globa­liza­tion. National identity is too important to be left to the mani­pu­la­tion of despots and demagogic populists.

The defense of demo­cratic values is not a luxury or a purely idea­li­stic under­ta­king. It is a precon­di­tion for decent, inclusive societies; the framework for social and economic progress for people throug­hout the world; and the foun­da­tion for the preser­va­tion of inter­na­tional peace and security.

A new Coalition for Demo­cratic Renewal will serve as a moral and intellec­tual catalyst for the revi­ta­liza­tion of the demo­cratic idea. The goal is to change the intellec­tual and cultural climate by waging a prin­ci­pled, informed, and impas­sioned battle of ideas; defending democracy against its critics; working to streng­then mediating insti­tu­tions and civil asso­cia­tions; and fashio­ning persua­sive arguments for liberal democracy that can shape the course of public discus­sion. It will also be necessary to go on the offensive against the autho­ri­ta­rian opponents of democracy by demons­t­ra­ting soli­da­rity with the brave people who are fighting for demo­cratic freedoms, and by exposing the crimes of klep­to­crats who rob and oppress their own people, falsify the political and histo­rical record, and seek to divide and defame estab­lished democracies.

The Coalition will also be a broad and inter­ac­tive forum for the exchange of ideas about the best ways to address complex new chal­lenges facing democracy such as static or declining living standards for many citizens, the backlash against increased immi­gra­tion, the rise of “post-truth politics” in an age of social media, and the erosion of support for liberal democracy. Such a global hub would also advocate and promote effective forms of action to revive faith in the efficacy of demo­cratic institutions.

There is no excuse for silence or inaction. We dare not cling to the illusion of security at a time when democracy is imperiled. The present crisis provides an oppor­tu­nity for committed democrats to mobilize, and we must seize it.

List of Signatories

Mike Abra­mo­witz, USA
Alina Afle­caitor, Romania
Sohrab Ahmari, USA
Milos Alcalay, Venezuela
Svetlana Alexie­vich, Belarus
Tutu Alicante, Equa­to­rial Guinea
Abdul­wahab Alkebsi, Yemen/​USA
Mansoor Al-Jamri, Bahrain
Maryam Al-Khawaja, Bahrain
Hajar Al-Kuhtany, Iraq
Manal Al-Sharif, Saudi Arabia
Anne Applebaum, USA
Oscar Arias Sánchez, Costa Rica
Bernard Aronson, USA
Brian Atwood, USA
Shlomo Avineri, Israel
Leszek Balce­ro­wicz, Poland
Thierno Balde, Guinea
Peter Bartram, Denmark
Youssef Bassem, Egypt
Paul Berman, USA
Tom Bernstein, USA
Ales Biali­atski, Belarus
Sergio Bitar, Chile
Thierno Balde, Guinea
Igor Blaževič, Czech Republic
Antony J. Blinken, USA
Ladan Boroumand, Iran /​France
Darko Brkan, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Andreas Bummel, Germany
Martin Bútora, Slovakia
Kim Campbell, Canada
Juan Pablo Cardenal, Spain
Scott Carpenter, USA
Jean-Claude Casanova, France
Ketevan Chachava, Georgia
Carlos Fernando Chamorro, Nicaragua
Cristiana Chamorro, Nicaragua
Kinman Chan, Hong Kong
Glanis Changachi­rere, Zimbabwe
Lee Cheuk-yan, China
David Clark, UK
Irwin Cotler, Canada
Manuel Cuesta Morúa, Cuba
Michael Danby, Australia
Frederik Willem de Klerk, South Africa
Rafael Marques de Morais, Angola
Ronald Deibert, Canada
Neelam Deo, India
Zviad Devda­riani, Georgia
Larry Diamond, USA
Nadia Diuk, USA
Han Dongfang, China
Edipcia Dubón, Nicaragua
Brigitte Dufour, Belgium
Rafał Duthie­wicz, Poland
Andrej Dynko, Belarus
Mustafa Dzhemilev, Ukraine
Jørgen Ejbøl, Denmark
Nidhi Eoseewong, Thailand
João Carlos Espada, Portugal
Nino Evgenidze, Georgia
José Daniel Ferrer, Cuba
Alejandro Foxley, Chile
Ralf Fücks, Germany
Francis Fukuyama, USA
Cynthia Gabriel, Malaysia
William Galston, USA
Sumit Ganguly, India
Timothy Garton Ash, United Kingdom
Chito Gascon, Philippines
Richard Gere, USA
Carl Gershman, USA
Eka Gigauri, Georgia
John Githongo, Kenya
Ana Gomes, Portugal
Leonid Gozman, Russia
Paul Graham, South Africa
Vartan Gregorian, USA
Chen Guang­cheng, China
Borys Gudziak, Ukraine
Antonio Guedes, Spain
Ashok Gurung, Nepal
Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, Ghana
Chaibong Hahm, South Korea
Barbara Haig, USA
Martin Hála, Czech Republic
Amr Hamzawy, Egypt
Husain Haqqani, Pakistan
Miklos Haraszti, Hungary
Robert Hardh, Sweden
Bambang Harymurti, Indonesia
Ivan Havel, Czech Republic
Agnieszka Holland, Poland
Szuchien Hsu, Taiwan
Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia
Maiko Ichihara, Japan
Hasler Iglesias, Venezuela
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonia
Ramin Jahan­be­gloo, Iran/​Canada
Chee Soon Juan, Singapore
Kornely Kakachia, Georgia
Archil Kancha­veli, Georgia
Nataša Kandić, Serbia
Vladimir Kara-Murza, Russia
Tawakkol Karman, Yeman
Garry Kasparov, USA/​Russia
Mikhail Kasyanov, Russia
Janos Kenedi, Hungary
Zoltán Kész, Hungary
Maina Kiai, Kenya
James Kirchick, USA
Jakub Klepal, Czech Republic
Ondřej Klimeš, Czech Republic
Bassma Kodmani, Syria/​France
Givi Korinteli, Georgia
Bernard Kouchner, France
Ivan Krastev, Bulgaria
Enrique Krauze, Mexico
Péter Krekó, Hungary
Batu Kutelia, Georgia
Bolívar Lamounier, Brazil
Vytautas Lands­bergis, Lithuania
Walter Laqueur, USA
Arthur Larok, Uganda
Nathan Law, Hong Kong
Sook-Jong Lee, South Korea
Bernard-Henri Lévy, France
Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru
James Loeffler, USA
Amichai Magen, Israel
Bálint Magyar, Hungary
Anar Mammadli, Azerbaijan
Myroslav Mary­n­ovych, Ukraine
Nyaradzo Masha­ya­mombe, Zimbabwe
Radwan Masmoudi, Tunisia
Penda Mbow, Senegal
Thomas O. Melia, USA
Stjepan Mesić, Croatia
Adam Michnik, Poland
Ivan Mikloš, Slovakia
Emin Milli, Azerbaijan
Mikheil Mirzia­sh­vili, Georgia
Carlos Alberto Montaner, Cuba
Davood Moradian, Afghanistan
Yascha Mounk, USA
Giorgi Muchaidze, Georgia
Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Romania
Surendra Munshi, India
Igor Munteanu, Moldova
Joshua Muravchik, USA
Ahmad Farouk Musa, Malaysia
Dino Mustafić, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Moisés Naím, Venezuela
Andrew Nathan, USA
Mustafa Nayyem, Ukraine
Mesfin Negash, Ethiopia
Ghia Nodia, Georgia
Andrej Nosov, Serbia
Wai Wai Nu, Burma
Ayo Obe, Nigeria
Giorgi Oniani, Georgia
Ana Palacio, Spain
Šimon Pánek, Czech Republic
Baia Pataraia, Georgia
Zygis Pavi­li­onis, Lithuania
Rosa Maria Payá, Cuba
Latinka Perović, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Andrei Piont­kovski, Russia/​USA
Marc Plattner, USA
Jerzy Pomi­a­nowski, Poland
Thitinan Pong­sud­hirak, Thailand
Rodger Potocki, USA
Arch Puddington, USA
Vesna Pusić, Croatia
Xiao Qiang, China/​USA
Iveta Radičová, Slovakia
Sam Rainsy, Cambodia
Jorge Quiroga Ramírez, Bolivia
Aziz Royesh, Afghanistan
Ralf Rücks. Germany
Jacques Rupnik, France
Walid Salem, Palestine
Gabriel Salvia, Argentina
Sima Samar, Afghanistan
Maia Sandu, Moldova
Elizardo Sánchez, Cuba
Yoani Sánchez, Cuba
Gulnara Shahinian, Armenia
Lilia Shevtsova, Russia
Karel Schwar­zen­berg, Czech Republic
Slawomir Siera­kowski, Poland
Vasil Sikha­ru­lidze, Georgia
James Smart, Kenya
Timothy Snyder, USA
Uffe Riis Sørensen, Denmark
Ambiga Sree­n­e­vasan, Malaysia
Daniel Stid, USA
Tamara Sujú, Venezuela
Zamira Sydykova, Kyrgyzstan
Borys Tarasiuk, Ukraine
Enrique ter Horst, Venezuela
Vladimir Tismă­neanu, USA/​Romania
J. S. Tissaina­yagam, Sri Lanka
Daniel Twining, USA
Jon Ungpha­korn, Thailand
Rostislav Valvoda, Czech Republic
Franak Viacorka, Belarus
Konstantin von Eggert, Russia
Alexandr Vondra, Czech Republic
Chris­to­pher Walker, USA
George Weigel, USA
Leon Wiesel­tier, USA
Kenneth Wollack, USA
Joshua Wong, Hong Kong
Samuel Kofi Woods II, Liberia
Jeta Xharra, Kosovo
Jianli Yang, China/​USA
Richard Youngs, United Kingdom
Leyla Yunus, Azerbaijan
Yevgen Zakharov, Ukraine
Svitlana Zalish­chuk, Ukraine
Nino Zambak­hidze, Georgia
Yevgeniy Zhovtis, Kazakstan
Philip Zimbardo, USA
Min Zin, Burma
Michael Žantovský, Czech Republic

Koalition für demo­kra­ti­sche Erneuerung

Die Koalition für demo­kra­ti­sche Erneue­rung (Coalition for Demo­cratic Renewal – CDR) ist eine globale Initia­tive einer Gruppe von Intel­lek­tu­ellen, Akti­visten und Poli­ti­kern, die sich mit der Ausbrei­tung von Macht und Einfluss auto­ri­tärer Regime und der gleich­zei­tigen Schwä­chung des demo­kra­ti­schen Systems von innen befasst. Die CDR will die grund­le­genden Prin­zi­pien der Demo­kratie erneut bekräf­tigen, um gegenüber auto­ri­tären Oppo­nenten der Demo­kratie in die Offensive zu gelangen und um Soli­da­rität mit den mutigen Menschen zu demons­trieren, die sich über alle auf der Welt in unde­mo­kra­ti­schen Regimen für Freiheit einsetzen.

Das Grün­dungs­do­ku­ment des CDR, der Prager Aufruf (Prague Appeal), wurde am 26. Mai 2017 veröf­fent­licht. Zu den CDR-Mitglie­dern gehören unter anderem die Literatur-Nobel­preis­trä­gerin Swetlana Alexi­je­witsch, der Poli­tik­wis­sen­schaftler und Philosoph Francis Fukuyama, der russische Schach-Groß­meister und Poli­tik­ak­ti­vist Garri Kasparow, der fran­zö­si­sche Philosoph Bernard-Hénri Levy, der Studen­ten­an­führer und Mitglied des Legis­la­tiv­rats von Hong Kong, Nathan Law, die Jour­na­listin und Autorin Anne Applebaum, der Poli­tik­wis­sen­schaftler Ivan Krastev, die Jugend­ak­ti­vistin Rosa María Payá, und Ivan Havel, Wissen­schaftler und Bruder des ehema­ligen tsche­chi­schen Präsi­denten Václav Havel.

Die Koalition wurde offiziell am 20. Oktober 2017 in der tsche­chi­schen Haupt­stadt Prag im Rahmen der jähr­li­chen Forum 2000 Confe­rence gegründet.

Die konkreten Ziele des Projekts sind:

  • die Entwick­lung und Stärkung der CDR-Plattform, die als mora­li­scher und intel­lek­tu­eller Kata­ly­sator für die Revi­ta­li­sie­rung der demo­kra­ti­schen Idee dienen soll;
  • als inter­ak­tives Forum zu fungieren für den Ideen­aus­tausch über die besten Wege, um den komplexen neuen Heraus­for­de­rungen für die Demo­kratie zu begegnen, wie die stagnie­renden oder sinkenden Lebens­stan­dards vieler Bürge­rinnen und Bürger, den Wider­stand gegen zuneh­mende Immi­gra­tion, die Zunahmen „post-fakti­scher Politik“ im Zeitalter sozialer Medien und die Erosion der Unter­stüt­zung für die liberale Demokratie;
  • das öffent­liche Bewusst­sein zu steigern und Bildungs­ak­ti­vi­täten für die Öffent­lich­keit, Studen­tinnen und Studenten und die Zivil­ge­sell­schaft zu erarbeiten.


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