Study Group - The Democracy Crisis in Europe and the US: A Comparative Perspective


Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 4:00pm to 5:30pm



How is liberal democracy being attacked by "illiberal governance" in Europe and the US? What is the "illiberal governance" model in Hungary, Poland, Turkey and Russia?  Is it a sustainable alternative to liberal democracy, or a nationalist reaction against globalization and outside elites that may not prove sustainable?  How does it relate to populist nationalist movements elsewhere in Europe (e.g. Brexit, France, Netherlands, Austria)?  How does it relate to the Trump presidency in the US?  

Is there a "democracy demand" today, or are voters simply disaffected by democratic governments and demanding "change" without regard to democracy or their own participation?  What are the "identity demands" that populist nationalists like Viktor Orban and Donald Trump are stimulating and/or responding to?  

Three core elements of liberal democracy will be examined: (1) media freedom, (2) independent civil society, and (3) judicial independence.  What strategies have illiberal governments used to attack these core elements?  What is the public attitude toward these attacks?  What were the warning signs in Europe and the US that these attacks were coming?  Can the attacks be countered?  How resilient is liberal democracy?

The study group will be led by Carr Center's Senior Fellow John  Shattuck.


2/16/2017, Thursday, 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
3/7/2017,Tuesday, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
4/13/2017, Thursday, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

5/4/2017, Thursday, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
5/11/2017,Thursday, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM


*Applications are now closed.