20 October 2008
ESI in Berlin: Think tanks and the privatisation of democracy

ESI was invited to a workshop of stipendiaries of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Berlin to present on the work of a think tank. From 19 to 22 October participants discussed how the "privatisation of democracy" through think tanks is to be understood and conceptualised.

Eggert Hardten from ESI presented the example of the European Stability Initiative as a new form of political participation in the public discussion. Think tanks such as ESI are still rather alien to the political landscape of Germany. Many political scientific institutions in the country have been founded either by public bodies, are attached to university faculties or are directly linked to German parties. However, organisations like the Bertelsmann foundation have begun to increasingly fund independent organisations.

ESI can look back at almost a decade of successful development. From a small group of enthusiasts, the organisation has grown into a respected think tank which is invited to participate in prominent political circles in Europe and the US. The participants of the workshop were eager to learn about the work and focus of ESI.

ESI group discussion in Berlin
Eggert Hardten