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Klingenthal Conference: Doubling Down on Democracy: How to Deal with Existential Threats to Rule of, by and for the People

Château Klingenthal, near Strasbourg, September 14-17, 2018

The rise of populism in the United States and across Europe shook faith in liberal democracy. Commentators pointed to increased inequality and a breakdown of democratic knowledge as causes.  This meeting explored how these two trends converged and participants identified some of the ways to restore the resilience of liberal democracy. “Doubling Down on Democracy” took as its starting point the existential threats to democracy, focusing on their consequences and how they intersect with each other. It also explored what new models and methods were available to extend and deepen democratic self-rule in a world where winner-takes-all and democratic fragmentation are both creating a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

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Palliser Lecture: Democracy and Civil Society – A Shrinking Space?

Grange St Paul’s Hotel, March 16, 2017

Baroness Usha Prashar, one of the UK’s most experienced policy advisors, delivered the fourth Palliser Lecture in London. During this lecture, Prashar said, “It is not an exaggeration to say that liberal democracy is in a desperate state.” Prashar underscored the importance of democracy not only to ensure free elections, but also to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority and to value dissent, dialogue, and participation. Given the gravity of present threats to civil society and democracy, Prashar called for courage and leadership rooted in the civic values of human equality, social justice, and pluralism. She also challenged civil society organisations to be agents of change by building alliances with businesses, academia, media, and other partners on issues such as the rule of law, freedom of expression, and inequality.

Read a transcript from this event