Shrinking Space

Topic category

Securitisation and Militarisation

Rising repression and restrictions for civil society organisations and social movements have put the issue of 'shrinking space' on the NGO agenda. TNI believes that “political space” for civil society is not ‘shrinking’, but rather being taken away, closed down and rendered uninhabitable by the same forces that have hollowed out democracy and placed it at the service of corporations and private interests. TNI is working with activists and academics to probe the issue critically.

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On “shrinking space”

Framing paper

Individual and collective activism is facing a global pushback from states, corporations and the Far Right. How useful is the metaphorical concept of ‘shrinking space’ to examine such repression of civic society? This report deconstructs the shrinking space narrative and critiques some of its inherent problems, particularly its conflation with ‘civic space’. Thus a Government can profess support for ‘civic space’ and human rights defender initiatives abroad, while adopting repressive domestic policies and promoting collusion with corporations that contribute to ‘shrinking space’.

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