Building narratives for democratic renewal


The COVID-19 pandemic “threatens more than the lives and the livelihoods of people throughout the world. It is also a political crisis that threatens the future of liberal democracy,” says a Call to Defend Democracy, signed by more than 500 political, civil leaders, Nobel Laureates and pro-democracy institutions. Moreover, the COVID-19 crisis has escalated the “battle of narratives” between democracy and authoritarianism.

The George W. Bush Institute and the Carter Center are hosting an online panel discussion on Maintaining Democracy and Human Rights as Pillars of US Foreign Policy from 12:00 – 13:00 ET on 15 September. Speakers include:

  • Nicole Bibbens Sedaca, The Kelly and David Pfeil Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute
  • Jennifer McCoy, Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University
  • Levar Smith, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Morehouse College
  • Dan Twining, President of the International Republican Institute

The panel will be moderated by Paige Alexander, CEO of The Carter Center. This two-part event to raise public awareness of the issues among college age students, and highlight the new Bush Institute report, Choose Freedom: Revitalizing American Support for Democracy and Human Rights in the 21st Century. The event will be live-streamed at If you are a student and would like to participate in the closed-door session please RSVP here.

ilding on the Call to Defend Democracy statement, International IDEA and the World Movement for Democracy host a conversation with experts and democracy activists to develop arguments supporting democracy that will appeal to people across regions, cultures, and generations. Please join the online global conversation, entitled A Battle of Narratives: Building Public Support for Democratic Renewal, on the International Day of Democracy – Tuesday, September 15,  2020 from 9:30 am – 11:00 am (EDT). It will address the following questions:

1. How do we understand the appeal of anti-democratic narratives? What are actors and factors that influence such narratives?
2. Instead of playing defense, how can we more effectively make the case for democracy and rebuild the public’s confidence in democracy?
3. In what way can we leverage expertise and pedagogies of other sectors, such as creative industries, tech companies, and educational institutions?


• Anne Applebaum (USA), Staff Writer, The Atlantic & Author of Twilight of Democracy
• Larry Diamond (USA), Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University
• Garry Kasparov (Russia/USA), Chairman, Human Rights Foundation & Former World Chess Champion
• Bobi Wine (Uganda), politician, activist, and singer, Uganda
• Annouchka Wijeshinghe (Sri Lanka), Research Coordinator, Alliance Development Trust
• Omaid Sharifi (Afghanistan), President & Curator, ArtLords
• Cynthia Mbamalu (Nigeria), Director of Programs, YIAGA Africa

Moderated by:  Ana Gomes (Portugal), Former Member of European Parliament

With remarks from: • Jose Ramos-Horta, Chairperson, World Movement for Democracy, Former President of Timor Leste, 1996 Nobel Peace Laureate; Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy; Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General at International IDEA. Register here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email