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Humanitarian Alternatives: Issue 20 – July 2022


Extension of the “anti-associative counter-revolution”: diagnosis, challenges, solutions.

By Philippe Ryfman

Restrictions on freedom of association are a too often neglected marker of the shift of a political regime towards authoritarianism, or even dictatorship. Russia is a case in point. Lire la suite


Russian civil society put to the test by the invasion of Ukraine

By Anne Le Huérou and Aude Merlin Does Russian civil society still exist since the invasion of Ukraine? After a look back at the conditions of its emergence in post-Soviet Russia, the authors go back over the progressive rise of repressive measures since the beginning of the Putin years. They show how the invasion of Ukraine is a kind of paroxysm, whilst highlighting the persistence of anti-establishment practices and describing the reorganisation taking place. Read more

From Geneva to Moscow: opposite poles of the freedom of association spectrum

By Kouassi Aimé Malanhoua Freedom of association is conceived, practised and defended in very different ways by States around the world. Here, Kouassi Aimé Malanhoua attempts to present the widest possible spectrum which, spanning Geneva to Moscow, reveals all the nuances of a freedom under threat. Read more

The double bind facing civil society organisations: the Swiss example

By Vivianne Châtel What is happening in Switzerland, the birthplace of the International Committee of the Red Cross and a stronghold of international organisations and non-governmental organisations alike? The author calls our attention to a case which – in the shadow of the debate on the influence of companies and the neo-liberal model – could well mark an offensive against the rights of civil society organisations. Read more

State-association relations: an authoritarian shift in contemporary France?

By Antonio Delfini and Julien Talpin In France, relations between the State and the nonprofit sector have often been stormy – a sign of a healthy democratic system. However, here the authors explain that, for some years now, an arsenal of legislation and administrative practices has been undermining the foundations of this system of checks and balances. And risks threatening the rights of associations.Read more

Support under control of civil society actors: the case of French and European international solidarity organisations

By Roxane Grisard and Vincent Pradier A fast-growing sector subject to severe constraints. This is the paradox in which civil society organisations in France and more broadly in Europe are struggling. The authors provide us with the keys to understanding a phenomenon which, according to them, is the sign of a reconfiguration. Read more

Civil society under siege in Turkey: authoritarianism, polarisation and counterstrategies

By Ülker Sözen Turkey is, like Russia, a striking illustration of the shrinking of civic space as a result of authoritarian policies. The author paints a picture of the trends and practices at work in this strategic country from all points of view while underlining the internal dynamics and incredible courage of Turkish civil society. Read more