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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