Governments seeking to close political space have a number of tools at their disposal. One popular tactic is to suppress civil society by restricting foreign funding, controlling registration and imposing onerous reporting requirements. Parliaments often aid and abet executives in this process, even in purportedly democratic states. This paper examines when parliaments protect political space [...]
This paper demonstrates the challenges that those working to strengthen democracy confront in putting their strategies into practice, using the Westminster Foundation for Democracy’s (WFD) work with civil society as an example. While formulating effective interventions is a significant challenge, how to go about implementing them is often just as problematic.
Parliamentary strengthening involves trade-offs, both in the choice between issue-based and institutional approaches, and in the choice of who a programme will include. Democracy promoters cannot avoid these trade-offs, but with systematic evaluation of past programmes they can navigate them more effectively. This policy paper draws on the Westminster Foundation for Democracy’s experience in parliamentary [...]