International Conference - the Challenges of Liberal Democracy
Date & Time: 16-17 December 2019
Location: at the Academy, Jabotinsky street 43, Jerusalem
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?
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.