Civic Education

Civic education was indispensable in building a liberal democracy in the Federal Republic after 1945 and in reunited Germany after 1989. While there was an immediate link to the experience of totalitarian rule in the early days, civic education today is confronted by new challenges: Freedom and peace are taken for granted, and people fortunately have no experience of life without them.

At the same time, public approval of the foundations of our political and economic order is dwindling, the established political parties are losing their attraction, and political extremism is on the rise. This being so, it is all the more important – and all the more difficult – to get the message across that our democratic order cannot work without civic involvement. 'Democracies need democrats' – this is the perennial precept of civic education.

Addressing the destruction of the Weimar Republic by the combined efforts of extremists from the Right and Left as well as analysing the crimes of national socialism and the experience of communist dictatorship in the GDR will always remain core elements in civic education and its efforts to promote liberal democracy.

Rather than take the foundations of our democratic order for granted, civic education must promote them again and again. Endorsing this point, the coalition agreement between the CDU, the CSU, and the SPD says: 'Nevertheless, each generation needs civic education and governmental support for the active involvement of people in societal life. We will strengthen civic education for this reason'.

It is now a proven concept that civic education at school should be supplemented by extramural offers, and that the state, implementing the principle of subsidiarity, should rely on a plurality of programmes offered by private providers.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung forms part of the vigorous and pluralist landscape of agencies providing civic education in Germany.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung views civic education as part of its core business. This holds true both at home and abroad, with the proviso that these fields of activity need to be networked further.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung aims to empower citizens to promote our liberal democracy and to assume an active role in politics and society. Towards this end, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung provides background knowledge in politics and economics and promotes the emergence of active citizens in our democracy. Beyond providing knowledge about institutions or a forum for current debates, civic education projects the value-based foundations of our democratic order.

Beyond this general mission to support democracy, in which it agrees with many other providers of civic education, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is distinguished by, as its statutes put it, the 'Christian Democratic basis' of its work.

For this reason, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung addresses questions not only about how, but also about what and why things are happening in democracy and politics. Instead of confining itself to teaching knowledge, it communicates the conditions and objectives of political action based on fundamental values. By acting from a sense of Christian Democratic responsibility it distinguishes itself from other providers.

In united Germany, there are two civic education centres at Eichholz (between Bonn and Cologne) and Wendgräben (between Berlin and Magdeburg) as well as 16 regional education institutes offering conferences, seminars, and workshops which are attended by more than 120,000 citizens every year.

Direction

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Department Head, Department Civic Education
Dr. Melanie Piepenschneider
Phone +49 2236 707-4212 | 030-269 96-3576
Fax +49 2236 707-4403
Melanie.Piepenschneider(akas.de
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Deputy Department Head, Department Civic Education
Dr. Ludger Gruber
Phone +49 2236 707-4417
Fax +49 2236 707-4347
Ludger.Gruber(akas.de

Team

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Head of Team Education Centres
Dr. Werner Blumenthal
Phone +49 2236 707-4215
Fax +49 2236 707-4347
Werner.Blumenthal(akas.de
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Ralf Güldenzopf
Phone +49 30 26996-3492 / +49 2236 707-4402
Ralf.Gueldenzopf(akas.de
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Leiter der KommunalAkademie 
Philipp Lerch
Phone +49 2236/707-4213
Fax +49 2236/707-4403 
Philipp.Lerch(akas.de
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Head of the event-department political education
Beate Kindler
Phone +49 2236 707-4278
Fax +49 2236 707-54278
Beate.Kindler(akas.de