Does Democracy Matter? The United States and Global Democracy Support

Date : Fri., September 8, 2017 Category : Conferences/Symposia

Co-Sponsored by Perry World House, Penn Law – CERL, and Penn Department of Russian and East European Studies

Does Democracy MatterLiberal democracy is under siege globally, and the traditional U.S. policy of defending democracy abroad is very much in question. This half-day conference is inspired by FPRI’s new book, which explores the issues in the debate over whether the support of democracy abroad should remain a significant component of American foreign policy – or not. These issues have taken on sharp new relevance with the Trump administration’s downgrading of democracy support. Does democracy abroad still matter to U.S. security interests? Do democracies make safer neighbors and better allies? Does democracy promote peace, security, and economic prosperity? How should the U.S. deal with the democratic recession of the past decade and the authoritarian counter-offensive that has reversed some of the spectacular democracy gains of the 15 years following the fall of the Berlin Wall? Where and how can U.S. democracy assistance be delivered effectively? These are the issues that will be discussed with prominent experts in the field.

Topics and Speakers


09/08/2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Welcoming Remarks

09/08/2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.

Panel I: Progress of Liberal Democracy Since 1989, and the Authoritarian Counteroffensive

09/08/2017 - 10:10 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.
Thomas Melia

George W. Bush Institute; USAID

Mitchell Orenstein


Tarun Chhbara

Perry World House; Brookings Institution

Claire Finkelstein


CERL, UPenn Law School


09/08/2017 - 11:25 a.m. to 11:35 a.m.

Panel II: The United States and Democracy Support -- Does Democracy Matter?

09/08/2017 - 11:40 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Adrian A. Basora


Sarah Bush

FPRI; Temple University

Melinda Haring

FPRI; UkraineAlert; Atlantic Council

Sean L. Yom


FPRI; Temple University

Lunch Break

09/08/2017 - 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Keynote Remarks, followed by a conversation with William Burke-White

09/08/2017 - 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Thomas Carothers

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

William Burke-White

Perry World House

Reception and Book-signing

09/08/2017 - 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.



Perry World House

University of Pennsylvania 3803 Locust Walk PA Philadelphia 19104

Registration links

Click here to register now.

Register Deadline

Thu., September 7, 2017

Related Program(s)

Eurasia Program