Civil Society | Wilson Center

Civil Society

Asset Recovery of Grand Corruption: Lessons from Romania

This event is co-sponsored by the Wilson Center's Rule of Law Initiative

Romania continues to confront major hurdles in its struggle against deep-rooted, longstanding corruption.  In July 2019, for example, the Romanian parliament significantly weakened the country’s anti-money laundering laws, thereby making it easier to legalize the proceeds from corruption and other criminal activities.  Judge Camelia Bogdan will assess the main barriers to reforming Romania’s anti-money laundering legislation and fighting corruption in Romania.

Pathways Out of the Crisis: Views from Venezuelan Civil Society

As the political, economic, and social crisis in Venezuela deepens, civil society organizations are playing a vital role in resisting authoritarianism and defending fundamental rights. As Venezuela’s opposition engages in negotiations to achieve a transition, Venezuelan civil society is also advancing meaningful proposals for a democratic, peaceful solution that reflect urgent human rights and humanitarian needs on the ground.

Chasing the Wind, or the Bright Side of Lost Causes


In a society like Russia’s, protest movements tend to come in waves. A wave rises, then recedes, leaving a trail of foam on the sand. The comings and goings of those waves tend to produce a sense of futility.

Those who are old enough to remember at least two or three social waves rise and die are often deeply skeptical of political change. “Everything under the sun is meaningless, like chasing the wind”—I can easily imagine a Russian in their forties and older saying those words with heartfelt sincerity.

Protests in Moscow and Autocracy’s Hidden Price


In Russia, the border between a legal protest and a misdemeanor is very thin. Participation in a rally or a march can unpredictably end with a detention and even charges, thanks to the arbitrary and creative enforcement of Article 20.2 of the Code for Administrative Offenses, which deals with public meetings, rallies, and all other forms of citizen protest.

When the Avant-Garde Met the Church: A Clash of Two Strands of Modern Russia

Photo: Aerial view of the calligraphic artwork by Pokras Lampas. Image taken from Instagram, @pokraslampas, photo series credit: Photo: Aerial view of the calligraphic artwork by Pokras Lampas. Image taken from Instagram, @pokraslampas, photo serise credit: @ural_geographic and @denbych Albert Gabsatarov and Dmitry Bychkovsky/“Stenograffia”


Read in Russian

Встреча России Малевича и России Уралмаша

Николай Эппле

Read in English

На площади Первой пятилетки в Екатеринбурге столкнулись два глубоко родственных друг другу проявления России. И, столкнувшись, не узнали друг друга. А между тем, им очень даже есть, о чем поговорить.

To Protest or Not to Protest: The Protest Dilemma in Hybrid Regimes