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„The stony path to democracy: Power, peace and politics in Europe and the Arab World” Seminar for activists of civil society from Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia


Bad Bevensen and Berlin , Deutschland

Gustav Stresemann Institute in Niedersachsen e.V. and international cooperation partners from Poland, Lithuania, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia


The revolutions took place: in Northern Africa, in the Middle East; also in Europe, just longer ago. Did they succeed? Did they, after all, provide the way for a democratic change? Did they help to establish stabile democracies? Did they create the world its protagonist had been dreaming of? And what is left to do? We will find answers to those questions with groups from Germany, Poland and Lithuania, from Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan. No doubt, answers to those questions will be different depending on the country; and depending on the region. European activists worked on different scenes and faced different challenges compared to their counterparts in the Arab world. But all of them struggled for democratic change.

In this project we will share our stories of political involvement; we will compare our different approaches strengthening civil society; we will learn from each other, what is important to have an impact on politics; we will encourage each other to continue on this path. Time witnesses and project leaders will motivate us with their experiences; visits to institutions of civil society will help us identify the structures we need to be efficient; simulation games will support us in taking over responsibility; the international setting will inspire us how to take the next steps in democratic capacity building and empowerment. After all: It is our world that we want to make more livable.

Topics of the program

  • Politics and biography: personal approaches on becoming active citizens (introduction and getting to know each other)
  • The stony path to democracy: how people established changes & achieved stability (perspectives from Europe and the Arab world)
  • democracy has many faces. How to combine historic roots and cultural characteristics to a political structure (creative methods of intercultural learning)
  • politics and daily life: institutions of civil society (with visits to projects in the area)
  • making democracy work: rules of dialogue and interaction within the seminar (including contracting and informal activities)
  • tolerance and integration: handling the challenge of diversity (combining intercultural learning and civic education)
  • reconciliation with the past: exchanging experiences of different countries (sharing historic narratives)
  • youth going politics: talk with a government representative in the Federal Foreign Office
  • human rights in cultural contexts: a challenging debate between universal aspiration and political reality (input on human rights education)
  • projects for the future: transfer of experiences to the tasks back home (creative tasks for follow-up activities)

Application deadline: 26th September, 2014

Partcipation fee: 190 € for participants from Germany; incl. full board in Bad Bevensen/half board in Berlin and accommodation (double rooms in Bad Bevensen, triple rooms in Berlin), program costs, round-trip to Berlin and excursion.

Travel expense refund:
70 % of travel costs up to a maximum of 100 € within Germany

Funded by EU program Erasmus+, key action 1, train the trainers
Further sponsors: Federal Foreign Office, Germany

Cooperation partners: Angelus Silesius House, Wroclaw, Poland; Student Representation, Vilnius, Lithuania; St. Mena Forum for Peace and Development, Beni Suef, Egypt; Debate Foundation, Amman, Jordan; The Club Culturel Ali Belhouane Tunis, Tunisia

Seminar language: English

Link zur Veranstaltung:

Nordafrika, Polen, Litauen, Jordanien, Ägypten, Tunesien, Zivilgesellschaft,

Martin Kaiser (executive manager Gustav Stresemann Institut in Nds. e.V.)
Telefon: Tel. 05821 – 955 111

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