Secrets of Transformation: Winners and losers — Gains and losses on the path to democratization

DW series examines gains and losses on the path to democratization

Recent political upheaval has resulted in both winners and losers. Secrets of Transformation – Deutsche Welle’s newest online series – shows how people in developing and transition countries experience the changes.

In the multimedia series, eight examples illustrate political and economic transformation on four continents. The project draws on the findings of the Bertelsmann Stiftung (Bertelsmann Foundation), which collected its data in long-term studies. For Secrets of Transformation, which was launched on Tuesday, January 21, and will be updated through March, DW was given exclusive access to the data in the most recent Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI). Every two weeks, a new episode of the project will be released in English and German.

Why has the battle against corruption in Liberia been more successful than it has been in Ukraine? Is there a strategy driving Bolivia’s economic growth? What’s at the root of economic stagnation in Pakistan? Why is the division of powers crumbling in Hungary, while that principle is becoming more firmly fixed in Indonesia? These are some of the questions Deutsche Welle’s reporters ask in the series as they search for causes, effects and answers on the ground, letting those in power, as well as their critics, have their say. The multimedia project includes video portraits and picture galleries that introduce individuals grappling with political change. A series of infographics sum up the facts associated with these transformations. All of the project’s elements, including videos, galleries, graphics and articles, can be shared on Facebook and Twitter with the tags #dw and #bti2014.

The Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) analyzes the quality of democracy, market economies and political management in 129 developing and transition countries. It measures countries’ progress and regression along the path toward becoming democracies that operate within the rule of law and a socially-conscious market economy.

On Wednesday, January 22, Deutsche Welle and the Bertelsmann Stiftung presented the multimedia project and the core results of the BTI 2014 at DW’s headquarters in Bonn. Deutsche Welle’s Director General Peter Limbourg and Chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Aart de Geus opened the event. In a discussion titled “Democracy – a tyranny of the majority?”, panelists including political scientist Aurel Croissant, the Eastern Europe expert and German Green politician Viola von Cramon, the Algerian-German media activist Belabbès Benkredda and the Hungarian journalist Agnes Szabó discussed trends that can be seen in the BTI’s data.

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