Defending democracy against encroaching authoritarianism
In an extraordinary reversal of democracy trends, the world is back to 1989 levels of liberal democracy, with 33 countries now actively backsliding and authoritarian influences taking root. Autocrats are employing a range of tactics, including utilizing state resources to corrupt the electoral process and entrench incumbents and centralizing control of essential technology to limit the autonomy of independent institutions. This overt and increasingly widespread influence of authoritarian leaders is eroding established democracies and posing grave risks to nascent ones – underscoring the urgency of collaborative and cross-border action to defend democracy and democratic institutions around the world.
Against this backdrop, join the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in partnership with Foreign Policy on February 9 for a timely discussion on the pace of democratic backsliding and the concrete strategies for fortifying democracies and democratic movements around the world. The decline of democracy worldwide is not inevitable. State actors and other stakeholders have a range of tools that can be leveraged to strengthen accountability, thwart corruption, and build – or rebuild – public trust. This program will explore strategies for establishing and enforcing state accountability in politically fragile environments around the world. The event will showcase experts and leaders from policy, civil society, and media and will engage FP’s audience from around the world.
Thomas Carothers, Senior Fellow and co-director of Democracy, Conflict, and Governance, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), Stanford University
Nicola Schmidt, Executive Director, Democracy Reporting International
Maximo Zaldivar, Regional director for the Americas, IFES
Maggie Lake, Veteran Journalist, Founder of Maggie Lake Media