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International Conference - the Challenges of Liberal Democracy

Date & Time: 16-17 December 2019
Location: at the Academy, Jabotinsky street 43, Jerusalem
In December 2019, the Israel Academy hosted an international conference on “The Challenges of Liberal Democracy.” The conference set out to address the following questions: What are the challenges facing liberal democracy today? Is Israel’s democracy changing, and if so, how? What is the relationship between democracy and religion? How is the digital-global era affecting the stability of democracy? What is the role of academia in safeguarding democracy?
Read conference Abstract Book here  
The speakers at the conference examined the idea of solidarity, one of the foundations of liberal democracy, and noted reasons for the erosion of solidarity and loss of faith in government authorities. Other presentations focused on difficulties in transitioning to democracy – for example, in countries in Eastern Europe and Asia; the difficulties arising from the tension between nationalism and globalism; and the crisis currently affecting long-established Western democracies, particularly the U.S. and Britain. A further topic of discussion was the status of information technologies and social media and their impact on democratic processes.
Speakers from overseas included Prof. Sheila Jasanoff of Harvard University, Prof. Werner Weidenfeld of Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Prof. Joseph Weiler of New York University, Prof. Dominique Moisi of the French Institute of International Relations, Prof. András Sajó of the Central European University and Prof. Linda Greenhouse, President of the American Philosophical Society and a Pulitzer Prize recipient.
Speakers from Israel included the President of the Academy, Prof. Nili Cohen, and Academy Members Shlomo Avineri, Izhak Englard, Ruth Gavison, Moshe Halbertal, Shulamit Volkov, Guy Stroumsa, Daniel Friedman and Zev Sternhell.
 NOW ONLINE: Read conference Abstract Book here