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Yascha Mounk, “The Decline of Democracy: Standing Up for Liberal, Democratic Values”
April 8, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Sponsored by the Jean Monnet European Union Center of Excellence for Comparative Populism, the Center for German and European Studies, the Department of Political Science, the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, and the Mass Communication Research Center in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
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Public talk @ 7 EDT (6 PM Central Daylight Time).
Yascha Mounk is a Johns Hopkins professor and go-to authority on why democracy is in perilous danger (or the forces behind “democratic deconsolidation”—his own term). His third book, titled The People vs. Democracy: Why Democracy Is in Danger & How to Save It offers a critically important rationale for this seismic change, weaving together historical, economic, and cultural analysis. While offering a grim diagnosis, Mounk is also hopeful—in this engaging talk, he offers practical methods for everyday citizens to combat this trend, and rediscover why our rights, freedoms, and protections are worth fighting for.
His forthcoming book, The Great Experiment: How to Make Diverse Democracies Work, will draw on history and comparative politics to offer an unflinching analysis of why it is so hard to build fair, diverse democracies. It’s not an easy task to undo centuries of inequality, but, ultimately, The Great Experiment is optimistic: if we embrace the right principles and policies, we can build a truly common life.
Writing regularly for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, CNN, The Nation, and Die Zeit—and appearing on radio and television in over ten countries—Mounk also writes “The Good Fight” column: articles on populism, resistance, activism, and the changing face of democracy for Slate magazine. He’s also the host of a podcast, also called “The Good Fight,” which interviews political luminaries such as George Packer, Mark Blythe, Brian Klaas, and more.
Mounk’s second book, The Age of Responsibility: Luck, Choice, and the Welfare State, explores how our conservative embrace of ‘personal responsibility’ has actually prevented us from empowering individuals—and achieving greater equity. His first book, Stranger in My Own Country: A Jewish Family in Modern Germany, “started as a memoir of his experiences growing up as a Jew in Germany, but became a broader investigation of how contemporary European nations were struggling to construct new, multicultural national identities,” according to The New York Times. It was also translated into German.
Mounk is an Associate Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University and a Senior Fellow at the Agora Institute. Mounk formerly lectured on Political Theory at Harvard University’s Government Department. He received his BA in History from Trinity College, Cambridge and his PhD in Government from Harvard University.
Cecilia Martinez-Gallardo will act as discussant for this lecture. Cecilia Martinez-Gallardo is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her B.A. from the Institutio Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) in Mexico City (1995), and both an MA and a Ph.D. from Columbia University (2005). Before joining UNC, Cecilia taught at CIDE in Mexico. Cecilia’s teaching and research interest are in Latin American political institutions and political behavior. She is a collaborator with the Executive Approval Project, as well as a co-coordinator of the Presidential Cabinets Project.
The Q&A will be moderated by UW-Madison Professor of Political Science, Nils Ringe.
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