Democracy is in crisis. The United States—once viewed as the world’s most stable democracy—is witnessing a surge of right-wing extremism, nationalism, and authoritarian populism fueled, in part, by conspiracy theories and disinformation campaigns, white supremacy, and toxic masculinity. These forces converged in a literal attack on democracy during an insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021. More globally, a recent “democratic recession” seems to have halted if not reversed the third wave of democratization (Diamond 2015), and everywhere there are signs of the deterioration of political rights and civil liberties (Abramowitz 2018), the erosion of citizens’ trust in government (Pew Research Center 2017), and growing disaffection with democratic norms and institutions (Foa and Mounk 2017).
This moment and the challenges it presents—including challenges to the cause of human development and justice—demand scholarly attention. To help facilitate such attention, the North American Regional Network of the Human Development and Capabilities Association, is hosting a webinar with a distinguished group of panelists to discuss the state of democracy—both recent events and broader trends—on February 19th at 11:00AM EST. Our hope is this panel will help to start a discussion within the human development paradigm about threats and challenges to democracy around the globe.
David A. Crocker, Research Professor Emeritus at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, USA.
Chloe Schwenke, president and founder of the Center for Values in International Development.
Eddy M. Souffrant, faculty member of the Department of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Frances Stewart, emeritus professor of Development Economics. Director of the Oxford Department of International Development (1993-2003) and the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (2003-2010).
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