In recent years, an array of challenges have threatened democracies. Resurgent authoritarianism, cultures of corruption, violent extremism, disinformation, rising inequality and more dominate the headlines. Scholars have warned of a global democratic recession. Translating democracy’s promise into a better life for all can be frustratingly slow and difficult, but we have found over the past 35 years that, whatever its shortfalls, democracy works. It is the only form of government that allows for peaceful self-correction. DemWorks, the podcast, will examine democracy’s challenges and opportunities with the help of NDI President Derek Mitchell and #DemocracyHeroes around the world who are working for democracy and making democracy work.

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What is NDIs impact on the trajectory of democratic development? (w/ Brian Atwood & Ken Wollack)

NDI President Derek Mitchell continues his conversation with his predecessors, Brian Atwood and Ken Wollack about NDIs history since the fall of the Berlin Wall. In this episode they discuss NDIs impact on the trajectory of democratic development, and where they see the greatest potential for dramatic democratic change.

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How has Europe changed since the Iron Curtain lifted?

In our second Demworks episode recorded in Berlin, NDI’s director for Central and Eastern Europe, Rob Benjamin talks to Zuzana Papazoski, who currently runs NDI’s programs in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Three decades after the Iron Curtain was lifted, they discuss the dramatic revolutions and democratic change that swept across Europe. How were they driven in great part by young people?

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Why are young voices and young leadership critical to democracy?

DemWorks is coming to you from the heart of Berlin on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Thirty years ago, a wave of revolutions swept across Europe - revolutions that were driven by young people who demanded democracy. Decades later, democracy faces new challenges in Europe, and a new generation is driving a new wave of change. NDI’s Nadia Mouzykina and IRI’s Sam Johannes are joined by three inspiring members of the European Democracy Youth Network to discuss why young voices and young leaders are critical to democracy. EDYN is supported by the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, and USAID.

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Reflecting on the fall of the Berlin Wall, 30 years on (w/ Brian Atwood & Ken Wollack)

In this special episode of Demworks, NDI President Derek Mitchell is joined by his predecessors at NDI, Brian Atwood and Ken Wollack. The three discuss the years before and after November 9, 1989, the day the Berlin Wall fell. Together on this anniversary, they take stock, talking about the evolution of NDI’s work around this period, discussing the specific cases that helped shape the Institute, and reflecting on lessons learned given the state of democracy today.

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Reflecting on the fall of the Berlin Wall, 30 years on (w/ Brian Atwood & Ken Wollack)

In this special episode of Demworks, NDI President Derek Mitchell is joined by his predecessors at NDI, Brian Atwood and Ken Wollack. The three discuss the years before and after November 9, 1989, the day the Berlin Wall fell. Together on this anniversary, they take stock, talking about the evolution of NDI’s work around this period, discussing the specific cases that helped shape the Institute, and reflecting on lessons learned given the state of democracy today.

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Demworks Live! Why is political polarization happening now?

DemWorks celebrates its 10th episode with a special live installment, discussing the rising threat of political polarization. NDI President Derek Mitchell sits down with renowned global expert on democratization, Tom Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and NDI’s Senior Advisor for political parties, Sef Ashiagdor. They discuss the points of resilience against severe polarization that exist and the role that political parties play in democracies. Additionally, NDI’s Washington, D.C. staff had the opportunity to ask the panel their own questions on why political polarization is a growing trend for democracies around the world.

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Is Democracy in Europe Delivering?

Next month marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Democracy looked much different in 1989 than it does today. How has democracy changed in Eastern Europe since the bold steps it took in the region three decades ago? In this Demworks podcast, NDI President Derek Mitchell sits down with Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, analyst, professor, and historian, Anne Applebaum to discuss the current state of democracy in Eastern Europe, and what its future looks like. #Listen to this engaging #podcast as they discuss the importance of citizen participation and political awareness in democracies today.

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How does humor help democracy?

In this DemWorks podcast we explore humor, arguably the most democratic form of speech. We talk to Matt Wuerker, the Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist for Politico, one of the leading news organizations in the United States dedicated to American politics. Matt’s cartoons pull no punches, skewering Democrats, Republicans and all types of political absurdity. Matt also serves on the board of Cartoonists Rights Network International, an organization that has worked to defend the rights and security of political cartoonists worldwide.

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How will 2019 fit into the story of Tunisia's democratic development?

Tunisians go to the polls on Sunday for the second democratic presidential election in the country’s modern history. What will they be thinking about as they cast their ballots? Jobs? Human rights? Pollution? How will these and other priorities reshape the political landscape in the months and years to come, as the country navigates the choppy waters of economic stagnation and more stringent popular demands for elected leaders to deliver? And how do those leaders—from the president all the way down—actually realize the promises they make during election season? The answers to these questions are relevant not just to the people of Tunisia—the birthplace of the Arab Spring—but for small-‘d’ democrats across the region who look to the country for hope and guidance. In the newest episode of the DemWorks podcast, Leo Spaans, our country director in Tunisia, and Les Campbell, NDI regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, try to provide some answers.

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Why is equality essential to a successful democracy?

DemWorks continues to celebrate International Youth Day by exploring the importance of gender equality in democracy. In episode 6, Laura Jewett, NDI’s regional director for Eurasia speaks with Olena Yena, who directs the Women Lead program in NDI’s Ukraine office. Olena spearheads NDI initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality, enhancing women's political participation, and combating gender stereotypes and discrimination.

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How can democracies remain committed to their values amid rising authoritarianism?

In this DemWorks crossover episode, NDI President Derek Mitchell talks to Chris Walker and Shanthi Kalathil from the National Endowment for Democracy (the NED) about the rise of authoritarian influence around the world. With a focus on China, they discuss how China’s Communist Party has survived since Tiananmen Square, the One Belt, One Road initiative, and the hard questions China’s rise poses to open societies’ most fundamental principles.

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How is Ukraine strengthening its democracy in the face of foreign aggression?

In this second episode of the DemWorks podcast, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, the deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration in Ukraine, talks to NDI President Derek Mitchell about her decision to run for parliament in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution, confrontations with misogyny early in her career, and her fight to open up the Ukrainian military to female service members.

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