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Cover image of DemWorks, a podcast by the National Democratic Institute

DemWorks, a podcast by the National Democratic Institute

For more than 35 years, the National Democratic Institute has been honored to work with thousands of courageous and committed small “d” democrats around the world to help countries develop democratic institutions, practices and skills. Over that period, we have worked in more than 150 countries. We have operated on the principle that while there is no single model for democracy, certain principles are fundamental – accountability, transparency, citizen empowerment, regular free and fair elections, etc. -- and that sharing democratic knowledge and experience among nations large and small will promote democracy’s success. Through these DemWorks podcasts, we will engage in conversation with those who have been on the front lines of democratic development work around the world. In the process, we will get them to share what they do and how they do it - their on-the-ground experiences, the challenges they face, the obstacles they overcome, and the unique national contexts in which they must operate. And in the process show how DEMOCRACY WORKS.

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15. How can we advance democracy and peace? (w/ Lauren Van Metre)

In the latest episode of DemWorks, NDI’s Lauren van Metre is joined at the US Institute of Peace by global activists Emna Jeblaoui (Tunisia), Jacob Bul Bior (South Sudan), Samson Itodo (Nigeria) and Aluel Atem (South Sudan). They discuss new thinking about mobilizing good governance and the challenge violent extremism poses to democracy.

19mins

5 Feb 2020

Rank #1

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14. 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.

26mins

4 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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10. Demworks Live! Why is political polarization happening now? (w/ Tom Carothers & Sef Ashiagdor)

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.

34mins

30 Oct 2019

Rank #3

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07. 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? (Podcast Transcription: https://www.demworks.org/how-will-2019-fit-story-tunisias-democratic-development)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.

42mins

10 Sep 2019

Rank #4

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09. Is democracy in Europe delivering? (w/ Anne Applebaum)

As the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall nears, questions of democracy’s current state in Central and Eastern Europe are particularly prevalent. Is democracy in a crisis? Or is it still on an encouraging pattern? This week, 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 Europe, and how that affects the rest of the world. Listen as they face the current challenges to democracy, while assessing its continued resilience.

32mins

17 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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19. Governance is Key During COVID-19? (w/ Kristen Sample)

As much as COVID-19 is a health and economic crisis, at its core, it is also a governance crisis. NDI President Derek Mitchell and new Director of Democratic Governance Kristen Sample delve into ways governments and the international community have risen (or not) to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

30mins

5 May 2020

Rank #6

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11. 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.

33mins

6 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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*Bonus 02* How do you build bridges between citizens and the government? (w/ Natalia Slepuhin)

In DemWorks first Skype episode, NDI’s Nadia Mouzykina, speaking from Berlin, talks to Natalia Slepuhin in Moldova. Natalia is a member of the European Democracy Youth Network, and discusses the new challenges faced by democracy and the work EDYN is doing to make sure young people have a voice.EDYN is supported by the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, and USAID.

24mins

18 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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12. Why are young voices and young leadership critical to democracy? (w/ EDYN)

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.

27mins

14 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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08. How does humor help democracy? (w/ Matt Wuerker)

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.

31mins

9 Oct 2019

Rank #10