Democratic decline in the U.S. and Europe is weakening the transatlantic relationship and undermining its influence around the world. America and its European allies need to recalibrate their values and practices at home in order to serve as beacons to aspiring democracies abroad. But disruptions to our democratic traditions keep emerging: from new technologies changing the way we communicate and work to pandemics and economic shocks. Our work analyzes how these disruptions are playing out, and it will be up to civil society, lawmakers, and the people to prepare our democracies for the future.

How to Fix Democracy |

How to Fix Democracy

Since its origins, democracy has been a work in progress; today, many question its resilience.The Bertelsmann Foundation and Humanity in Action have teamed up with Andrew Keen, author of How to Fix the Future, to launch this video and podcast series exploring practical responses to the threats facing democracies around the world.

Graphic Images: Autocrats and the Use of Power

In this fourth and final installment of our Disrupting Democracy series, "Graphic Images: Autocrats and the Use of Power," we will look at how three authoritarian regimes undermine the prospects for democracy and stability in their respective regions. Drawing from the more than 15 years of data from the Bertelsmann Transformation Index, this publication reimagines country and regional level data into infographics that shine a light on three distinct cases: Russia, Iran and China.

Graphic Images: Autocrats and the Use of Power |

Graphic Images

For this third edition of the series, we decided to turn everything you’ve come to expect from Disrupting Democracy on its head. Through the use of carefully constructed algorithms by our partners at the Institute for Competitiveness, we have collected more than 10,000 data points that are the driving forces behind the volatility in democracy today, converting them into a compendium of visualizations that provides a degree of depth that will take you well beyond any written analysis.

Graphic Images |

Disrupting Democracy Vol. II

In 2018, for our second instalment of the Disrupting Democracy project we turned our attention to elections. From the rise of Five Star and Lega in Italy to U.S. Democrats’ success winning the U.S. House of Representatives, and from to Morena and Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s victory in Mexico to a cultural and linguistic divide in Latvia, Disrupting Democracy Vol. II: Election Series recorded how technology was put to work to make a difference at the ballot box.

Disrupting Democracy Vol. II |

Disrupting Democracy Vol. I

Beginning January 2017, the Bertelsmann Foundation embarked on a journey to explore how digital innovation impacts democracies and societies around the world in a series called "Disrupting Democracy." In volume one, we focused on key challenges that have emerged as a result of technological disruption from the rival capitals of Washington and Havana, the bustling streets of New Delhi, the dynamic tech startups in Tel Aviv, and the efficient order of Berlin.

Disrupting Democracy Vol. I |


Autocratization and the decline of international cooperation

The last decade has not been favorable to democracy worldwide. The rise of right-wing populists and the hardening of autocratic rule have left clear imprints. The Bertelsmann Stiftung's Transformation Index (BTI) traces this development for 137 developing countries and emerging economies, or...

When States Go Rogue

How the US and EU Can Strengthen Democracy at Home to Bolster its Prospects Abroad

Political unions, like healthy marriages, require a fair bit of give and take. Interests, priorities, and values may diverge, but mutual understanding about lines never to be crossed is a must. In the United States and the European Union, some family members have lost sight of this basic principle...

Out to Vote

A Movement to Restore Voting Rights in Maryland

When has an individual convicted of a felony fully repaid their debt to society? When should they be welcomed back into the fabric of civic life as a contributing and engaged citizen? In the United States, the answer has often been long after being released from prison or, in some cases, never.