Since 2014, the magazine aim is to explore the potential of forms of civic, social and political activism to contribute to renewing, rethinking and reshaping citizenship and democracy. It also attempts to capture current trends and transformations affecting civil society environment in Europe and worldwide, connect ideas and experiences about changing the world from grassroots up.
Today, civil society is more and more misunderstood and misrepresented, as are the values and principles it embodies and defends. Stigmatising legislation, smear campaigns and downgrading of social and civil rights contribute to restricting the space of civil society to operate and voice opinions in ways that are more and more complex to capture. These challenges expose some of the long-standing weaknesses of civil society, but can also contribute to reinforcing its strengths. They trigger discussions on the role and legitimacy of civic actors.
Drawing on the experience of one year of Civic Space Watch, the new issue of Activizenship poses some burning questions. What are the new and old challenges of civil society in Europe? How is civil society changing? How is it pushing back against democratic backsliding?