Lund Debate to bring democracy experts into conversation

An upcoming public discussion will explore the conditions and practices that define a democracy and strategies for building its resilience at a time when many democracies worldwide are at risk.

This year’s Lund Critical Debate, “Democracy and Its Opposites: Challenges in a Global World,” will address the increasing global influence of rising autocracies and the backsliding of democratic norms in many long-stable democracies.

Expert panelists Thomas Garrett and Damon Wilson will examine the threats democracies around the world are confronting, and what governments and citizens can do to fight back, on April 24, 5-7:30 p.m. in the Alice Statler Auditorium. Registration is required.

The annual debate is a signature event of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.

Garrett serves as the secretary general of the Community of Democracies and formerly lived abroad for over a decade observing election processes and advocating for political participation. Wilson, president and CEO of the National Endowment for Democracy, is an expert in international security and strengthening democracies. He is a former civil servant and was former special assistant to U.S. President George W. Bush from 2007-09.

The debate and the conversations it sparks give the campus community an annual opportunity to explore high-profile global issues from diverse perspectives, said Rachel Beatty Riedl, the Einaudi Center’s director and John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy.

“Democracies around the world are experiencing ongoing attacks on democratic practices and institutions – from electoral management systems to judicial independence,” said Riedl, who will moderate the debate. “I hope students will bring questions and ideas to this conversation with policy leaders as we think through ways to safeguard voters’ voices around the world.”

The Lund Critical Debate gathers noted experts in international affairs to deliberate on pressing issues in world news and public policy. This year’s dialogue highlights Einaudi’s work on democratic threats and resilience. The series is made possible through the generosity of Judith Lund Biggs ’57.

Jessica Ames is a communications assistant for Global Cornell.

Media Contact

Damien Sharp