Liberal democracy is not dead

Cas Mudde looks back on the trajectory of illiberal forces in 2021 and considers prospects for illiberal forces in key elections in 2022 in RightNow!, the blog for the University of Oslo’s Center for Research on Extremism. He argues that illiberalism is not inevitable, emphasising the need for consistent and inspiring liberal democracy. 2021 saw … Continued

Whatever happened to soft power?

Joseph S. Nye in ASPI’s The Strategist considers the China/US dynamic at the end of 2021 through the lens of hard and soft power. He frames Biden’s holding of the Summit, and China’s reaction to its non-invitation as a “great-power competition over soft power”, whereby countries attempt to influence others through attraction. Soft power comes … Continued

Biden Doesn’t Know What He Thinks About Sanctions

Paul Massaro and Benjamin L. Schmitt in Foreign Policy consider the United States’ failure to pose sanctions against corrupt global actors, notably Russia after it’s latest escalation of its invasion in Eastern Ukraine in light of its commitments to anti-corruption that were released in the lead-up to the Summit. The authors praise the United States Strategy … Continued

How to Deliver for Citizens in Fragile States After the Democracy Summit

Corinne Graff of the United States Institute of Peace considered the potential for the Summit to have a positive impact in fragile states. While the Summit focussed on several of the governance challenges that affect fragile states, notably anti-corruption, only 18 out of the 111 invitees were conflict-affected. Given that civil wars are increasingly shaped … Continued

Biden’s Summit for Democracy Ignored the Middle East

Charles W. Dunne writes for the Arab Center Washington DC (ACW) considers the limited impact of the Summit in the Middle East, with only Israel and Iraq appearing on the list of invitees. While the Summit made modest successes, the lack of voices from the Middle East left few opportunities for support and commitments in … Continued

What Biden’s Democracy Summit Is Missing

Hélène Landemore in Foreign Policy takes a historical perspective on American democracy, critically reflecting upon its accepted democratic institutions and dynamics, identifying failures and questioning which features should endure. While not a radical call for change, Landemore argues that we should “build new models of democratic decision-making so they can nudge the old ones aside … Continued

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