Biden’s democracy summit should avoid ‘us vs. them’
December 8, 2021
The White House will hold a “Summit for Democracy” this week, intended to combat authoritarianism and give a boost to democratic norms around the world. The U.S. has drawn criticism in the run-up to the event for its choice of invitees, as well as what some countries view as hypocrisy related to the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Cornell University experts from the American Democracy Collaborative, a group of scholars studying democratic backsliding around the world, are available to discuss the summit and its outcomes. The group recently published an edited volume, “Democratic Resilience,” examining the institutional and societal sources of democratic resilience.
Tom Pepinsky, professor of government and director of Cornell’s Southeast Asia program, notes for Brookings that the summit will be most successful if it focuses on strengthening democratic norms as opposed to creating an 'us vs. them' dynamic with authoritarian countries.
Suzanne Mettler, professor of government, conducts research on the forces of democracy and is author of the book “Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy.”
Mabel Berezin, professor of sociology, studies fascism, populism and related movements in Europe and the U.S. Her recent work focuses on elections and the rising role of nationalism.