Can liberal democracy endure? Prospects for democratic renewal


Nativism and authoritarianism are gaining a foothold in countries around the globe. Populist movements are growing. Long established international alliances are fraying. Institutions that protect and promote our liberties are being buffeted by attacks from the left and right. These trends have led many to ask: Can liberal democracy endure? Johns Hopkins University reports:

“Reawakening the Spirit of Democracy” will address this question head-on. Co-hosted by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins and the Renew Democracy Initiative, this conference will convene a diverse group of thought leaders – from across both the political spectrum and the world – who will examine and wrestle with the underlying threats to liberal democracy and propose strategies to reinvigorate it. Over the course of these two-days of discussion and healthy debate, they will model civil and productive discourse not only for the leaders of today but also for those who will chart the course for open societies in the future.

“There is still a center in Western politics, and it needs to be revitalized—intellectually, culturally, and politically,” says the manifesto of the Renew Democracy Initiative, founded in 2017.

A forthcoming book from Stanford University’s Larry Diamond offers “concrete prescriptions for democratic renewal,” says Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation and author of From Cold War to Hot Peace 

Ill Winds is a page-turning international manifesto, calling upon ‘democrats of the world to unite’ to preserve, reinvigorate, and expand those democratic institutions and values that have produced so much peace, prosperity, and freedom in the past. A must read for all, he writes.

“Reawakening the Spirit of Democracy” will provide a platform for a diverse slate of thinkers to identify and dissect threats to liberal democracy around the world, then propose remedies that might address them, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Agora Institute adds. Conference participants include:

  • Yamiche Alcindor, Correspondent, PBS NewsHour
  • Anne Applebaum, Washington Post columnist and Professor of Practice, London School of Economics [and National Endowment for Democracy board member]
  • 21st Forum 2000 Conference

    Sheri Berman, Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University, the author of “Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Régime to the Present Day.”

  • Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Ben Cardin, United States Senator, Maryland
  • Eliot Cohen, Executive Vice Dean, Johns Hopkins University
  • Evelyn Farkas, Resident Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund, Founding Partner Scarlet Oak Advisors
  • Michèle Fluornoy, Co-Founder and Managing Director, WestExec Advisors
  • Bill Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
  • Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, New York University Stern School of Business
  • Heidi Heitkamp, former United States Senator, North Dakota
  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia and Berggruen Fellow at Center for Advanced Studies, Stanford University
  • Garry Kasparov, Chairman, Renew Democracy Initiative
  • Bill Kristol, Founding Director, Defending Democracy Together
  • Edward Lucas, Senior Vice-President, Center for European Policy Analysis
  • Yascha Mounk, Associate Professor SAIS Johns Hopkins and SNF Agora Institute
  • Jennifer Rubin, Opinion Writer, Washington Post
  • Christopher Steele, former British Intelligence Officer
  • Bret Stephens, New York Times Columnist
  • Pete Wehner, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Contributing Opinion Writer, New York Times

For more information about the conference, click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email