INCLUDE Platform
Policy highlights:
  • Activists are increasingly affected by an array of restrictions, including a ‘shrinking civic space’. These developments are not new and not limited to the Global South (e.g. the ‘Standing March’ in France was a response to limited space for protest under the government-imposed state of emergency in 2015).
  • This report is about innovative initiatives undertaken by civil society to counteract shrinking civic space, often creative and surprising. The key aim is to generate new ideas, inspire readers and foster innovation. The authors present a diverse collection of examples, accompanied by contextual information and current trends.
  • Eight types of tactics for (or instruments of) civic action are explored, accompanied by examples, namely: 1) visual arts, 2) crowdsourcing (e.g. in the form of citizen journalism), 3) humour and public shaming, 4) transparency and fact-checking (the rise of independent fact-checkers has been called a ‘new democratic institution’), 5) social media, 6) education (widely recognized as an important tool for ‘raising’ the next generation of change makers), 7) music, dance and theatre (e.g. flamenco is rooted in a long history of protest and activism and is still relevant in protests around the Spanish debt crisis), and 8) protection (e.g. the emergence of safe houses is an increasingly common strategy).

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