“Shrinking democratic space” describes a global trend whereby activists’ and civil society organizations’ freedom to organize and operate is circumscribed by increasingly repressive and authoritarian governments. From a Swedish development cooperation perspective, with its long tradition of defining democracy, rule of law,
human rights and gender equality as important development goals, this era of shrinking democratic space constitutes a major challenge. What does Swedish bilateral aid look like to the country – and how should it be formulated in the future?
This is discussed by researchers Åsa Eldén and Paul T. Levin in their new EBA report Swedish Aid in the Era of Shrinking Democratic Space – the Case of Turkey. They have studied how civil society is affected by developments in Turkey. They have also have interviewed Swedish donors.
The main conclusion of the study is that Swedish aid is an important support for those who promote democracy and that development cooperation should continue.
THE REPORT AUTHORS: