• Daniel LambachEmail author
  • Markus Bayer
  • Felix S. Bethke
  • Matteo Dressler
  • Véronique Dudouet


This chapter summarizes our findings from previous chapters and connects them to debates about democratic crisis in the West and elsewhere. Our case studies show that maintaining democracy is an ongoing process and that democracy needs active citizens to mobilize in its defence. Crucially, democracies are more resilient than they sometimes get credit for—to some degree, dissent and conflict are elements of, not threats to democracy. But democracy needs a new vision that speaks to citizens who feel commoditized and alienated in a globalized economy without slipping into populist rhetoric. Our research might provide some inspiration for such a vision based on the empowerment of an active and engaged citizenry.


Democratic crisis Democratic backsliding Democratic erosion Active citizenship Mobilization Populism 


  1. Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2019). The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  2. Ackerman, P., & Merriman, H. (2019). Preventing Mass Atrocities—From a Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) to a Right to Assist (RtoA) Campaigns of Civil Resistance. Special Report (Vol. 3). Washington, DC: International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.Google Scholar
  3. Azarya, V. (1988). Reordering State-Society Relations: Incorporation and Disengagement. In D. Rothchild & N. Chazan (Eds.), The Precarious Balance: State and Society in Africa (pp. 3–21). Boulder and London: Westview.Google Scholar
  4. Bermeo, N. (2003). Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times: The Citizenry and the Breakdown of Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bisbee, J., Mosley, L., Pepinsky, T. B., & Rosendorff, B. P. (2019). Decompensating Domestically: The Political Economy of Anti-Globalism. Journal of European Public Policy. Scholar
  6. Buckmaster, L. (2019, July 26). Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson: ‘I Call What We Do Aggressive Non-Violence’. The Guardian.Google Scholar
  7. della Porta, D. (2014). Mobilizing for Democracy: Comparing 1989 and 2011. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dudouet, V. (2015). Sources, Functions and Dilemmas of External Assistance to Civil Resistance Movements. In K. Schock (Ed.), Comparative Perspectives on Civil Resistance (pp. 168–200). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  9. Dudouet, V., & Clark, H. (2009). Nonviolent Civic Action in Support of Human Rights and Democracy. Directorate-General for External Policies of the Union, EXPO/B/DROI/2008/69. Brussels: European Parliament.Google Scholar
  10. Foa, R. S., & Mounk, Y. (2016). The Danger of Deconsolidation: The Democratic Disconnect. Journal of Democracy, 27(3), 5–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fukuyama, F. (1992). The End of History and the Last Man. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  12. Habermas, J. (1990). Verfassungspatriotismus – im Allgemeinen und im Besonderen. In J. Habermas (Ed.), Die nachholende Revolution. Kleine politische Schriften VII (pp. 147–174). Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  13. Heitmeyer, W. (2018). Autoritäre Versuchungen. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  14. Inglehart, R. F. (2016). How Much Should We Worry? Journal of Democracy, 28(1), 18–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jones, D. M. (1998). Democratization, Civil Society, and Illiberal Middle Class Culture in Pacific Asia. Comparative Politics, 30(2), 147–169. Scholar
  16. Kinsman, J., & Bassuener, K. (2013). A Diplomat’s Handbook for Democracy Development Support (3rd ed.). Waterloo: Centre for International Governance Innovation.Google Scholar
  17. Klaas, B. (2018). The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West Is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Lagon, M., & McCormick, P. (2015). The Responsibility to Accompany: A Framework for Multilateral Support of Grassroots Nonviolent Resistance. Ethics & International Affairs.
  19. Levitsky, S., & Ziblatt, D. (2018). How Democracies Die. New York: Broadway Books.Google Scholar
  20. Linz, J. J., & Stepan, A. (1996). Toward Consolidated Democracies. Journal of Democracy, 7(2), 14–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lührmann, A., & Lindberg, S. I. (2019). A Third Wave of Autocratization Is Here: What Is New About It? Democratization, 26(7), 1095–1113. Scholar
  22. McAdam, D., Tarrow, S., & Tilly, C. (2001). Dynamics of Contention. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Merkel, W. (2004). Embedded and Defective Democracies. Democratization, 11(5), 33–58. Scholar
  24. Migdal, J. S. (1988). Strong Societies and Weak States: State-Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Mudde, C., & Rovira Kaltwasser, C. (2017). Populism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Müller, J.-W. (2007). Constitutional Patriotism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Müller, J.-W. (2017). What Is Populism? London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  28. Piketty, T. (2014). Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pinckney, J. (2018). When Civil Resistance Succeeds: Building Democracy After Popular Nonviolent Uprisings. Washington, DC: International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.Google Scholar
  30. PSC Report. (2019). Dangers Ahead for Sudan After Its Suspension from the AU. ISS PSC Insights. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies.Google Scholar
  31. Scott, J. C. (1998). Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Seeberg, M. B. (2014). State Capacity and the Paradox of Authoritarian Elections. Democratization, 21(7), 1265–1285. Scholar
  33. Walter, S. (2017). Globalization and the Demand-Side of Politics: How Globalization Shapes Labor Market Risk Perceptions and Policy Preferences. Political Science Research and Methods, 5(1), 55–80. Scholar
  34. ZEIT Online. (2019, June 16). Tote bei Zusammenstößen zwischen Polizei und Zivilisten. Zeit Online.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Lambach
    • 1
    Email author
  • Markus Bayer
    • 2
  • Felix S. Bethke
    • 3
  • Matteo Dressler
    • 4
  • Véronique Dudouet
    • 5
  1. 1.Goethe University FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Political ScienceUniversity of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany
  3. 3.Peace Research Institute FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany
  4. 4.Flemish Peace InstituteBrusselsBelgium
  5. 5.Conflict Transformation ResearchBerghof Foundation BerlinBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations