Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy

Democracy and Disorder: Political Unpredictability in a Global Age

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Auditorium Ivan Pictet, Maison de la paix, Geneva

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The world is witnessing the decline and disenchantment with democracy, and the rise of new forms of authoritarianism and illiberal regimes across the globe. What can we learn about the politics of illiberalism from across both East and West, and North and South, in a time of increasing political unpredictability? This public plenary puts these traditions in conversation to draw out global and comparative insights on illiberal regimes, examining, for example, how democratic institutions are leveraged, manipulated, and decoupled from arbitrary power. These questions are increasingly pressing in an age of global integration and the reconfiguration of the nation-state.

Alex de Waal is Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation and a Research Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He is the author of numerous books, including The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War and the Business of Power (Polity 2015) and Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine (Polity 2018).

Nina Khrushcheva is Professor in the Graduate Program of International Affairs at The New School. She is a senior fellow of the World Policy Institute and an editor of Project Syndicate. She is the author of Imagining Nabokov: Russia Between Art and Politics (Yale UP, 2008), The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey Into the Gulag of the Russian Mind (Tate, 2014), and co-author of In Putin's Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia's Eleven Time Zones (St. Martin's Press, 2019).