Matthias Bucks/

Democracy and Law

Democracy and Law

Democratic freedom is the best compass even during stormy times.

Richard von Weizsäcker, Former German President

Democracies, as places of freedom, justice and welfare, offer the best conditions for their citizens to live well together. Democracy holds its own acceptance and stability, since it is bound to the will of the people.


Democracy Needs the Rule of Law – and Vice Versa

A functioning rule of law is the basis for any democracy. If the principles of rule of law are undermined, democracy is in danger. At the same time, only a democracy can safeguard the rule of law. The constitutional principles of democracy and rule of law are therefore inextricably linked to each other.

The rule of law is characterised by the fact that legal regulations not only exist for the orderly coexistence of citizens among one another, but also apply to the relationship between the state and population as well as to the state itself. In the rule of law, independent courts protect people against arbitrary encroachments by the state and their human rights are respected.


Democracy Needs Parties and Parliament

The heart of representative democracy beats in the parliaments. Debates and competition on the best solutions have their central place there. Parties combine interests and represent people with similar views. By drawing up political programmes and fielding candidates for elections, they significantly contribute towards political opinion- and decision-making. The people’s parties in particular address all citizens and strive for balance and consensus for society as a whole, making them vital for the cohesion of our community. For that reason, their constant renewal is a primary objective of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. New forms of participation, organisation and communication are a measure of their future survival.


Democracy Needs a Culture of Debate

Participation in democratic processes, but also the personal trade-off between individual freedoms and the welfare of everyone, is an important form of social cooperation. In this context, opinion formation requires reliable information, and citizens must be empowered and motivated to obtain information and engage. The free media play a central role in democracies.


Democracy Needs to Be Defended

Representative democracy, its institutions, and procedures cannot be taken for granted; they are achievements secured through long and at times bloody struggles for freedom and justice. That is why it concerns us all when representative democracy is challenged from outside by authoritarian or totalitarian regimes, and from inside by populist and extremist actors. It is important to vehemently oppose them and defend our liberal society. The commitment to a liberal, value- and rules-based world order is at least as important as the support of people and institutions that stand up for freedom, democracy and human rights in authoritarian regimes.

International Offices and Programmes

We think about our commitment to democracy, rule of law, freedom and social market economy in a networked and sustainable way. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is thus represented with numerous offices and programmes in various countries of operation.

International Media Programme

Kameramann Tim Weber


Through offices in Johannesburg, Singapore and Sofia, the Media Programme supports the media in its respective region to assume its political responsibility, contribute to developing democracy and to strengthen the legal framework. In particular, the Media Programmes promote independent journalists who play the role of “watch dog” to ensure a free and independent media landscape together with professional and value-oriented political communication between citizens on the one hand, and politicians on the other.


Learn more about the Media Programme

International Rule of Law Programme

Weltkarte – Weltweit für den Rechtsstaat Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung


Since 1990, the foundation has complemented its international projects for democracy promotion and political dialogue with the transnational Global Rule of Law Programme. The goals of the work of our Rule of Law Programme include encouraging and maintaining rule of law structures, advocating for the separation of powers and a strong, independent judiciary, as well as guaranteeing fundamental and human rights. The six regional programmes are located here: Bogotá (Colombia) for Latin America, Singapore for Asia, Nairobi (Kenya) and Dakar (Senegal) for Sub-Saharan Africa (Anglophone and Francophone), Bucharest (Romania) for South-east Europe and Beirut (Lebanon) for the Middle East/North Africa. The global work on rule of law is coordinated from Berlin, with a focus being on global rule of law issues.


Learn more about the Rule of Law Programme

International Party and Political Dialogue

Democracy promotion is one of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s primary objectives abroad, too. For us, parties are integral actors of a functioning and vibrant democracy. That is why we promote and take care of exchange and cooperation. We support democratic parties and politically active persons that share our values. Through our work both on the ground and at regional and international level, we provide a platform for political dialogue with and between parties and their target groups. Learn more on the pages of our Regional Programmes.


Learn more about Party and Political Dialogue


Event Series

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung offers several events series that take place each year on the issues of “Democracy and Law”. In conjunction with the renowned Berlin Legal Policy Conference and the Berlin Annual Review, which mainly focus on legal policy issues, on Democracy Day, our Political Education Forums want to inform about democracy with information stands in various cities, hold discussions with interested citizens on site, and talk about democracy.

Berlin Legal Policy Conference

Berliner Rechtspolitische Konferenz Titelbild


Once a year, high-ranking representatives from politics, academia and the judiciary come together at the traditional and distinguished Berlin Legal Policy Conference at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Academy to debate current legal policy issues in controversial panel discussions.


Learn more about the Berlin Legal Policy Conference

Berlin Annual Review

Das Karlsruher Gerichtsjahr_2022_1.jpeg @Juliane Liebers, KAS


With the Berlin Annual Review, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has created its own event series dedicated to the German Constitutional Court and its work as the supreme interpreter of the Constitution and guardian of the Basic Law. The main emphasis of this forum are the most important decisions taken by the Karlsruhe Court from last year.


Learn more about the Berlin Annual Review

Democracy Day

Junge Schüler informieren sich in Greifswald über den Tag der Demokratie am KAS-Stand KAS


In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared the 15th of September as International Democracy Day with the aim of promoting and defending the principles of democracy. Within the framework of its political education work, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung wants to empower citizens to stand up for our liberal democracy as responsible citizens and play an active role in politics and society. That is why each year on 15 September we visit different cities across Germany with information stands. Let’s get into a discussion and talk about democracy together.


Learn more about Democracy Day

Local Government Congress

Kommunalkongress Titelbild Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V.


Once a year, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung organises a nationwide local government congress. The goal is to motivate people to act for the common good in local politics and inspire them to get involved. The congress, with locations and topics that vary each year, invites you to become acquainted with people and projects that lead by good example and will inspire you to get involved locally, in politics or in your neighbourhood.


Find out more about the Local Government Congress


Podcasts, Publication and Website Projects

Some of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s podcasts, publication and website projects deal with various aspects of “democracy and law”. Particularly worthy of mention are the extensive project pages on election analyses and demoscopy as well as extremism.

Defensive Democracy

Illustration des Reichstagsgebäudes shutterstock/Carabus • Karl-Michael Constien und racken GmbH, Berlin • yellow too, Pasiek Horntrich GbR


Russia’s attack on Ukraine has catapulted the question of the defensibility of democracy to the fore of public interest. Yet, tanks and rockets are not the only threat to our free society. Our democracy is exposed to many dangers, which are addressed in a book of essays and major campaign.


Learn more about the topic “Defensive Democracy” or go directly to the essay collection (The (More) Defensive Democracy). “die wehrhafte(re) Demokratie”

Human Rights: In Demand



In the “Human Rights: In Demand” podcast, we present the currently most important topics in discussions with cooperation partners and other human rights experts. Our main objective is to explain complex contexts in an understandable way, and provide background information that cannot be found in newspapers.


Learn more about the podcast “Human Rights: In Demand”

Rule of Law Rules

Rule of Law Rules, Staffel 2 (de)


Rule of Law Rules is our podcast on the rule of law in the age of digitalisation. In each episode, an international expert is interviewed on the opportunities and challenges for human rights in the digital age. This gives you insights into current development from different parts of the world. The podcast is exclusively in English.


Learn more about the Rule of Law Rules podcast

Partner Atlas

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New world order, new partners?

A Partner Atlas for German Foreign Policy

YouTube, Onlinekas

The Partner Atlas project shows which foreign policy interests Germany can implement with which international partners. During an era when value- and rules-based world order is being challenged by war in Europe, multilateral institutions and sets of rules are called into question and liberal democracies are coming under pressure both from within and outside – at the very least, such a phase requires German foreign policy to strengthen partnerships beyond the EU and NATO. Some of these partnerships are already firmly established today. While others need to be explored, re-established and expanded. Take a look!


Learn more about the Partner Atlas


Extremismus KAS/ Charlotte Becker


The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s extremism project intends to be a comprehensive knowledge portal on aspects relating to “left-wing extremism”, “right-wing extremism”, “Islamism” and “conspiracy theories”. The articles and analyses, mainly written by renowned experts, want to inform about the complexity and various facets of individual extremisms. Whether it be on ideologies, organisations, structures, goals or forms of communication – our extremism portal will provide you with the answers to your questions.


Learn more about the Extremism Project

Election Analyses and Demoscopy

Wahlurne Fotolia


Our project website “Election Analyses and Demoscopy” is primarily concerned with the analytical examination of federal, state and European elections, but also with citizens’ satisfaction with the democratic political system. To that end, we collate, draw up and evaluate current studies and survey data from the fields of political behaviour, electoral behaviour, party research and extremism research, and published it accordingly under various headings on the website.


Learn more about the project “Election Analyses and Demoscopy”

Change in the Culture of Language and Debate

Zum Wandel der Sprach- und Debattenkultur


For years, we have experienced how the culture of language and debate has increasingly been subject to change. Forms of debate in the public space are shifting, and are now borderline in many respects. While the tone of discussions and interactions with one another are becoming ever more bitter. It makes little difference whether the debates are played out in parliament or whether communication takes place at demonstrations or during exchanges in the seemingly private sphere of social media. Learn more about the topic on our project page, where in addition to initial studies on the issue, we present you with expert interviews and video statements.


Learn more about the “Culture of Debate” project

Protests in Iran

Amir Kabir University uprising Darafsh / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0


Since mid-September 2022, thousands of people in Iran have been protesting daily against the regime of the Islamic Republic. They are demanding more rights and freedoms as well as an end to the 43-year rule of the theocratic regime under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The wave of protests was triggered by the violent death of the Iranian Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amin, who was arrested by the notorious morality police in Tehran. The scale of the current protests is unprecedented, with people from all walks of life and age groups participating for the first time. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation is monitoring the situation in Iran from its headquarters in Berlin and its offices abroad in the region.


Learn more about the protests in Iran


Seminar, Didactic and Scholarship Offers

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung offers an interesting doctoral programme to doctoral candidates interested in the political upheaval following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and who would like to deal with questions on the transition from authoritarian socialist regimes towards democratic structures. We would also like to draw attention to the wide-ranging services in local politics that we provide in the framework of our civic education work for highly diverse target groups (local decision-makers, interested citizens, young people etc.)

Doctoral Programme “Democracies in Europe – Transformations in the Aftermath of 1990”

The doctoral programme “Democracies in Europe - Transformations in the Aftermath of 1990” aims to pursue basic questions of historical-political transformation research. Here, it is devoted to the period following the collapse of the Soviet Union and focuses in particular on Eastern and Central European EU countries. It takes account of the fact that the transformations can by no means only be positive, which is also made especially clear to us against the background of current political changes.

The programme is mainly aimed at doctoral candidates in the subjects of contemporary history and political science. Upon admission to the programme, which complies with applicable funding guidelines, students will receive a scholarship from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s doctoral sponsorship programme (1,350 euros per month plus 100 euros flat-rate research allowance).


Learn more about the doctoral programme

Local Political Education Services

Christoph Jansen eröffnete das Forum Kommunalpolitik in Sankt Ingbert. KAS/Thomas Langer


Local self-governance is a key pillar in the democratic system of the Federal Republic of Germany and an important topic of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. With our web page on “Local Politics in Germany”, we not only want to inform about important areas of municipal policy, but also to provide a broad range of educational offers for various target groups. There is something for everyone; from pupils to citizens interested in local politics through to local decision-makers in politics and administration.


Learn more about Local Political Education Services



With the German Local Journalist Prize, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung presents an award that is now one of the most prestigious in the area of regional and local reporting. The annual prize was awarded for the first time in 1980.

German Local Journalist Prize

Konrad Adenauer beim Zeitunglesen KAS


Local journalists moderate the discussion on the ground, they serve society and democracy. By awarding the German Local Journalist Prize, we nurture young journalists in special projects. The annual award honours newspapers and editorial offices that implement concepts in touch with the people, address difficult issues or act as an advocate for readers.


Learn more about the German Local Journalist Prize


Sebastian Enskat, M.A.

Sebastian Enskat

Head of Department Democracy, Rule of Law and Political Parties +49 30-26996-3383
Event Reports
Juliane Liebers
November 8, 2021
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Single title
October 20, 2021
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Single title
December 8, 2016
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Publications to the topic

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The GCA Collaborative is proposing an open and inclusive global agreement to massively accelerate the Global South’s progress to net-zero emissions.
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Conflict Weekly #148, 3 November 2022, Vol.3, No.31
An initiative by NIAS-IPRI and KAS-India Office
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KAS African Law Study Library
Volume 4 of 2022
35th Special Session of UN Human Rights Council on Islamic Republic of Iran
Map of the Month 11/2022
Ist die Demokratie resilient genug gegen Desinformationskampagnen?
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Sicherheitsrelevante Entwicklungen in den tschetschenischen Gemeinschaften in Deutschland
Security-related developments in the Chechen communities in Germany
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Conflict Weekly
Conflict Weekly #147, 27 October 2022, Vol.3, No.30
An initiative by NIAS-IPRI and KAS-India Office
CAPA Democracia e Direito Eleitoral
Challenges for Democracy and Electoral Law in Brazil
Libro Militar
Relaciones Civil Militares en la Región Sudamericana.
Reflexiones desde Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador y Perú
160705 Interview Düzen Tekkal(Preview)
"Es geht um totalitäre Gesellschaften gegen offene Gesellschaften"
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KAS is looking for a suitable editor
The African Dream - African Entrpreneurs
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CSDS cover bild_page
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Events on the topic






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Frauen. Macht. Mit!



„Lebendige Politik“ - Schüler im Landtag Brandenburgs
Berufliches Gymnasium am Oberstufenzentrum Cottbus



Bürgermeister(in) – Beruf oder Berufung?
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Rhetorik für Fortgeschrittene.
Reden wie Obama, damit man Ihnen noch lieber zuhört.

Event reports on the topic
Aktuelle Trends und Herausforderungen der Integration von jungen Menschen an deutschen Schulen
Schulen zwischen dem Integrationsauftrag und dem Unterstützungsbedarf auf kommunaler Ebene im Kontext geopolitischer Krisen
Rechtspolitische Konferenz 2022 Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.
Was Europa im Innersten zusammenhält – Konflikte und Reformansätze in der EU
16. Berliner Rechtspolitische Konferenz
Blum (1)
„Repression und Prävention müssen Hand in Hand gehen“
Forum Kommunalpolitik 2022: Verantwortliche und Interessierte aus Kommunalpolitik, Verwaltung, Polizei und Kriminologie diskutierten über kriminalpolitische Strategien und Ansätze.
Simone Bresser und Tillmann Bauer Thomas Ehlen /
"Wir wählen die Freiheit" (Konrad Adenauer)
90 Schülerinnen und Schüler aus Hessen und Thüringen begegnen sich an dem Internationalen Tag der Demokratie in der Gedenkstätte Point Alpha
Talk im Bahnhof 13.09.2022
Der Streit ums letzte Wort
Talk im Bahnhof „Das Bundesverfassungsgericht – Hüter des Grundgesetzes“
Journalismus in Zeiten des Krieges
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18. Medienrechtstage in Frankfurt (Oder)
Jugendforum - Perspektiven. Geteilt!? (1/5) KAS
12. Thüringer Jugendpolitiktag
Schirmherr Oberbürgermeister Martin Horn KAS/Thomas Langer
Politischer Wille und Umsetzungskraft entscheiden über erfolgreiche kommunale Klimapolitik
Handlungsbedarf erkannt: Kommunen zeigen, wie innovative Klimaanpassung vor Ort funktioniert
Über die Frage der Frauenquote in der CDU diskutierten die stv. Vorsitzende der CDU/CSU-Bundestagsfraktion, Nadine Schön (l.), und Carsten Linnemann. KAS / Christiane Stahr
„Die CDU benötigt eine positive Zukunftserzählung und muss den Menschen wieder Hoffnung machen“
Christlich? Liberal? Konservativ? Die CDU zwischen gestern und morgen
Eine Lehrstunde in Sachen Meinungsfreiheit
Veranstaltungsbericht zum Gespräch mit Stephan J. Kramer am 22.06.
Runder Tisch Corona DD 1
Sachsen zieht Bilanz - Wo stehen wir nach Corona?
Runder Tisch mit Ministerpräsident Michael Kretschmer
Medien und Demokratie KAS Bremen
Die Rolle der Medien
Schulveranstaltung zum Thema „Medien und Demokratie“
Zwischenbilanz Ein Jahr von den Wahlen 16.05.2022 KAS Bremen
Zwischenbilanz: Ein Jahr vor den Wahlen zur Bremischen Bürgerschaft
Abendveranstaltung mit Carsten Meyer-Heder, Thore Schäck, Reinhold Wetjen, Florian Kommer und Martin Busch
Bonner Rede 2022 KAS/Ingo Hellwig
Plädoyer für Föderalismus, Subsidiarität und Verantwortung
Bonner Rede 2022
Wie bekomme ich meine Botschaft in die Zeitung?
Das Karlsruher Gerichtsjahr_2022_1.jpeg @Juliane Liebers, KAS
Das Karlsruher Jubiläumsjahr — 70 Jahre Bundesverfassungsgericht
Der Berliner Jahresrückblick auf die Rechtsprechung des Bundesverfassungsgerichts 2021
Unser Umgang mit der Ressource Wasser und der lokalen Kultur
Fünfter deutsch-französischer Kommunalkongress der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung vom 20. bis 22. Oktober 2021
Aussicht auf Sankt Ingbert vom Historischen Beckerturm des ehemaligen Brauereigeländes. KAS/Thomas Langer
Zukunftsorientierte Stadtentwicklung braucht radikal neue Ansätze
Fach-Community diskutiert lokalpolitische Ideen deutscher und internationaler Kommunen zur Belebung von Innenstädten
Professor Dr. Frank Überall Thomas Ehlen /
Daseinsvorsorge in einer demokratischen Gesellschaft
Für einen unabhängigen und professionellen Journalismus / Eine Bilanz des Wiesbadener Tischgesprächs 22. November 2021
Jens Fischer, Josephine Ballon, Laura Krause - Hintergrund_ Prof. Dr. Andreas Jungherr Henning Schacht
Stabile Mitte, fragile Wählerschaft
#IKPK21: Gesellschaftliche Vielfalt als Herausforderung für politische Kampagnen

Media library

Follow MDPD Media Channels @ - YT & IGTV
“Leave no one behind. Climate justice and poverty alleviation." - Video #PodKAS #7
How can humans tackle such a complex challenge? How can we adapt to changes if we do not change our behavior and current way of how we care "for our common home"? 
Follow MDPD media channels @ - YT & IGTV
#9 Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) - Hon. Wilfred Saka (2/2) #KAS4Democracy #KAS4Youth
Meet Hon. Wilfred Saka, Member of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) in Uganda.
Follow MDPD Media Channels @
"Global Responses to Climate Risk Mitigation: A Spotlight on Pakistan Floods."
Farwa Aamer (@faamer @StimsonCenter) sits down with Amb. Asad Majeed Khan (@asadmk17), Pakistan’s Ambassador to the EU, Belgium, and Luxembourg,
Watch the full playlist @ - YT & IGTV
#8 Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) - Hon. Wilfred Saka (part 1/2)
In this video, Hon. Saka speaks about the challenges that Uganda is facing hosting 1,6 million refugees.
Video #PodKAS series 'Bridging Voices' @
“The importance of increasing the number of women in political parties.”
Our guests speak about their experiences towards becoming role models for younger women to enter political parties. Tune in and listen what they have to say!
Forum Kommunalpolitik 2022
Wie zeigt sich die wehrhafte Demokratie auf der lokalen Ebene?
Videostatement von Dr. Andreas Hollstein, Bürgermeister a.D. Stadt Altena, Landesgeschäftsführer VKU-NRW
Forum Kommunalpolitik 2022
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Was umfasst kommunale Kriminalpolitik in Heidelberg?
Videostatement von Bernd Köster, Leiter des Bürger- und Ordnungsamts der Stadt Heidelberg
Forum Kommunalpolitik 2022
Was tut Heidelberg, um die Sicherheit vor Ort zu stärken?
Videostatement von Bürgermeisterin Stefanie Jansen, Stadt Heidelberg