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Democracy and Law

Democracy and Law


Democratic freedom is the best compass even during stormy times.

Richard von Weizsäcker, Former German President

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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”

Disinformation - Threat and danger to democracy and society

Kampf gegen Desinformation KAS


The Russian Federation, but also other authoritarian countries, try to influence public opinion in their favour and destabilise democratic societies through disinformation. Our campaign is strongly against disinformation and for a resilient democracy.


Learn more about the topic “Disinformation - Threat and danger to democracy and society”

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

Women’s Council

Michaela Peisger, Head of Finance Germany der KPMG AG, Berlin (im Bild rechts). KAS / Stefan Stahlberg


Women are still underrepresented in politics, business and society! With our diverse events, we want to change this and encourage women to take on more political and economic responsibility. With the Women’s Council, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung therefore offers a Germany-wide seminar programme especially for women.


Learn more about the Women’s Council



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

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Daphne Wolter

Daphne Wolter

Head of the Department Democracy, Law and Political Parties / Media +49 30 26996-3607
Event Reports
© Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.
October 27, 2022
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October 20, 2021
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December 8, 2016
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Publications to the topic

kleines Cannabispäckchen adobe stock / H_Ko
Health and psychosocial effects of the legalisation and commercialisation of cannabis
Cannabis legalization at the expense of children and young people
EFP 2024
Escuela de Formación Política 2024
#EFP 2024
Straßenproteste in der Slowakei gegen einen Plan des populistischen Ministerpräsidenten Robert Fico, das Strafgesetzbuch zu ändern und die Staatsanwaltschaft abzuschaffen. IMAGO / CTK Photo
Fico pushes through controversial criminal law reform - and thus unites the opposition
The fight for the rule of law characterises the first months of the legislative period. Presidential elections in March will also be essential for the country's further development....
Publication COLA-KKU Digital Local Governance
Digital Local Governance
Empowering Local Government Officials on Digital Literacy and Cybersecurity
Senegalesische Demonstranten IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
Senegal's democracy passes the stress test
The Constitutional Council has repealed Macky Salls' decree of 03.02.24 annulling the elections
Baum im Sommer und Winter Adobe Stock / by-studio
Changing political attitudes
Results from three representative trend surveys
Vorerst gescheitert...
Die Zeitenwende bei der Bundeswehr
Technische Regierung in Skopje – Auftakt zum Superwahljahr in Nordmazedonien
Technical government in Skopje: Kick-off to the super election year in North Macedonia
The technical government begins its work
Senegal fights for its reputation - and its democracy
The region's democratic anchor of stability caught between a domestic political crisis and growing damage to its image among its international partners
Karte von Nordafrika und der Sahel-Region IMAGO / Pond5 Images
New geopolitical alliances in the Sahel region
The geopolitical balances are shifting in the Sahel region.
MrWissen2go online in Lörrach: Medien.Macht.Meinung
Mirko Drotschmann stellt sich in Lörrach online den Fragen von Jugendlichen zu Medien in der Demokratie
EU Parlament mit Flaggen Adobe Stock / akkash
Enthusiastic, Critical, Unimpressed, Weary – the Germans and Europe
How do people in Germany evaluate the EU? Attitudes on Europe in a representative survey
Policy Paper : Algerien im Kontext internationaler Organisationen
Demonstrant in Myanmar macht 3 Finger Handzeichen Adobe Stock / One Dragon
Myanmar three years after the coup: where is the country heading?
A landmark year for Myanmar - new dynamics, alliances and scenarios for a "post-war state"
Der Palacio Nacional Mexiko IMAGO / Pond5 Images
Mexico 2024
Outlook for the super election year
Überschwemmter Fußgängerweg Adobe Stock / lensw0rld
German-Austrian Collaboration: Climate Change Solutions for the EU
Outcome paper of the Vienna Dialogue 2023
Senegal elects a new president
On the way to a new era
Publication TUDA-Lanna Beyond PM2.5
Beyond PM2.5
Environmental Justice and Insight Urban Solution for the Next Generation
KI in Subsahara-Afrika Media Lens King,
AI in Subsahara-Africa – Afrofuturism without African languages?
The challenges for large language models
Soziale Marktwirtschaft Cover Adobe Stock / thingamajiggs
Social market economy - what does it really mean?
The principles and goals of the social market economy explained in ten chapters.

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Events on the topic






Angebote der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung rund um die Kommunalpolitik.






Überblick: Kompaktkurse Kommunale Kompetenz – jetzt auch online verfügbar!
Ihre Kommune voranbringen!



Gemeinsam in einem Boot
Planspiel für Schüler der Ev. Schule Köpenick und des Schul- und Leistungssportzentrum Berlin



fully booked
Fundraising leicht gemacht!
Instrumente und Methoden der Mitteleinwerbung für Ehrenamtliche und Vereine

Event Reports on the topic

Event Reports on the topic

Der Jana Reimann-Grohs/KAS
Der Berliner Jahresrückblick 2024
Rückblick auf die Rechtsprechung des Bundesverfassungsgerichts
Das Grundgesetz für dich und mich
Grundrechtearena an der Trude-Herr-Gesamtschule in Köln
„Hinter Kassel beginnt die Walachei“
Debatte zum Buch: „Der Osten – eine westdeutsche Erfindung“
tossens titelbild
Kommunalpolitikseminar Zinzendorfschule Tossens
Die Stadt ist komplexer geworden
Umsetzung der Berliner Smart City Strategie in der Diskussion
01_75 Jahre Grundgesetz 148 Geb Konrad Adenauer 96
Jahresauftakt zu 75 Jahre Grundgesetz
Planspiel StockSnap auf Pixabay
Politik hautnah erleben
Kommunalpolitisches Planspiel „Entscheidung im Stadtrat“ – Ein Erfahrungsbericht
© Jana Reimann-Grohs/KAS Jana Reimann-Grohs/KAS
Politische Praxis & gesellschaftlicher Wandel: Was kann Wissenschaft zur Transformation beitragen?
Zum Verhältnis von Politik, Gesellschaft und Wissenschaft
Schüler im Landtag Brandenburg
Lebendige Politik
Schüler im Potsdamer Landtag
Gruppenfoto KAS Bremen
Folgt nun die Renaissance des Weimarer Dreiecks?
„Die Tür ist aktuell weit offen“
Erfurter Europa-Gespräch zum EU-Beitrittsprozess im Westbalkan
Persona-Methode und Nachwuchsgewinnung für Kommunalpolitik
Bericht zum Online-Workshop im November 2023
BW 14 11 23 (2)
Vortrag und Gespräch
Bundeswehr der Zukunft im Spiegel der Zeitenwende
Zeitungen Titelbild KAS Bremen
Sind Auslandsdeutsche nur Folklore?
Abendveranstaltung im Bremerhavener Auswandererhaus
Hannover titelbild
Niedersachsens Demokratie vor Ort
Tagesfahrt ab Oldenburg nach Hannover
Altenhof und van Hüllen KAS
"Wie die Demokratie (in Bremen) geschützt werden sollte"
Am 14.09. lud die KAS zu einer Abendveranstaltung mit der Thematik "Wie die Demokratie (in Bremen) geschützt werden sollte" unter der Leitung von Dr. Ralf Altenhof ein.
Sechster deutsch-französischer Kommunalkongress KAS / Liebers
Landwirtschaft und Kulturlandschaft
17. Rechtspolitische Konferenz 2023 Jana Reimann-Grohs/KAS
Einwanderungsland Deutschland – Rechtliche Perspektiven im Spannungsfeld der Migrationspolitik
17. Berliner Rechtspolitische Konferenz
231026 KAS
"Die Geschmeidigen"...
... im Spagat zwischen Versprechen, Erwartungen und Verantwortung
Social Security.jpg Pixabay
„Der Sozialstaat ist nicht Barmherzigkeit, sondern Gerechtigkeit!“
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. lud zur Podiumsdiskussion nach Weimar ein


Media library

Highlights from the Workshop
Empowering Digital Local Governance
Lectures and recommendations to enhance digital literacy and awareness on cybersecurity in public services among local administrative officials in upper northeastern provinces.
read now
Recording of the Event from 23.1.2024
Are we doing enough? - EU sanctions against Russia - a review
In an interview with Prof. Dr. Viktor Winkler LL.M. (Havard), we take a look at the patchwork of EU sanctions and discuss their effects, benefits and risks.
Erststimme #85: Peter Tauber
Mutig sein trotz Krisen!
In unserer neuesten Podcast-Episode begrüßen wir Peter Tauber, der sich in seinem neuen Buch mit einem essenziellen Thema auseinandersetzt: dem Mut.
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KAS-OPDC Project on Open and Innovative Government
Policy Recommendations for Public Sector Development
Let's find here how the participants in the Hackathon 2023 recommended the public sector to improve their policy design and implementation to increase the road safety in Thailand.
Public Participation Promotion
Direct Talks with MPs Year 2 EP 23-28
The Democratic Youth Network sits down and talks with Members of the House of Representatives about agenda, legal provisions, and policies important for the country's development.
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Media Dialogue Forum 6 Year 4
WATCH AGAIN: Facebook-live Recording "COP28 and the Way Forward"
Listen to a debrief on the issues discussed and agreements reached at COP28 in Dubai and their implication for Thailand going forward.
Bernd Skubinn, Politiklehrer, Emschertal-Berufskolleg, Herne
Junge Menschen für Kommunalpolitik begeistern
Bernd Skubinn berichtet von seinen Erfahrungen mit unserem kommunalpolitischen Planspiel „Entscheidung im Stadtrat“ an seinem Berufskolleg.
Erststimme: Norbert Lammert & Antje Boetius
Dein Klima-Politik-Mixtape - Das besondere Verhältnis von Wissenschaft & Politik
Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert und Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius sind bei uns im Gespräch! Und wie kann es anders sein, sprechen sie über das Verhältnis von Wissenschaft und Politik.
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#KAS4Democracy Global Exchange for Young Politicians
Which fields need more global exchange and why is it important for young politicians? Nari Shin from Korea shares her opinion and own experience.
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Norbert Lammert on the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
"Human rights are not laws of nature. [...], they must be protected & defended by people who take the claim to the inviolability of human dignity seriously".

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