Pressure on political parties has grown steadily in recent decades: they are faced on the one hand with the growing desire for participation, and on the other hand with increasing expectations of representativeness. To-date, the discussion of possible innovations in party politics has focused mainly on a negative analysis of the status quo. The joint project “Legitimacy and Efficacy: Future impetus for Party Democracy” of Das Progressive Zentrum, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Heinrich Böll Foundation has therefore developed new perspectives on innovations in political parties. The work notably draws on hitherto little used insights from democracy and party research, organisational development, psychology as well as from neurosciences. Special emphasis is placed on the culture of debate, member participation, the advancement of women and on digitisation.

Future of Democracy Progressive Majority Event Progressive Politics in Fragmented Times Conference on contemporary centre-left politics in Europe
Event Date: 6 July 2015 - 7 July 2015 | Oxford, United Kingdom
Philipp Sälhoff | Michael Miebach

On July 6 and 7, Das Progressive Zentrum participated in the conference “Progressive Politics in Fragmented Times” in Oxford, UK, hosted by the Policy Network, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies FEPS and Renner-Institut. Together with participants from all across Europe, we engaged in discussions about new impulses for contemporary centre-left politics. The debate focussed on Labour’s future in Great Britain, an update for oldfashioned left-right narratives and the search for innovative ideas for party democracy, matching our project efforts in reforming German party organisations as well as the research on right-wing populism together with the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP).

Future of Democracy In the media Debate ‘Pegida’ protests attract attention abroad Analysis by Hanno Burmester for Czech online magazine Česká pozice
15 January 2015 | Hanno Burmester

Policy Fellow Hanno Burmester provided an analysis for the Czech online magazine Česká pozice. Pointing out the difficulties German parties face by growing distrust in old-fashioned party politics, a polarization of the public debate on immigration and asylum and the rise of various forms of (right wing) populism – as currently visible with the anti-Islam demonstrations of ‘Pegida’ across Germany – he concludes:
The support for democracy is never a given. It has to be established continually – in every country.