Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Does Democracy Matter? The United States and Global Democracy Support

Does Democracy Matter? The United States and Global Democracy Support

  • Date / Time:
  • September 08, 2017
  • 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
  • Venue:
  • Perry World House
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • 3803 Locust Walk
  • Philadelphia. PA. US. 19104
  • Register Deadline:
  • Thu., September 7, 2017

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.


William Burke-White - Perry World House

Alan Luxenberg - FPRI

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 O. Melia - George W. Bush Institute; USAID

Mitchell Orenstein - FPRI; UPenn

Tarun Chhbara - Perry World House; Brookings Institution

Claire Finkelstein - Moderator - 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 - FPRI

Sarah Bush - FPRI; Temple University

Melinda Haring - FPRI; UkraineAlert; Atlantic Council

Sean L. Yom - Moderator - 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.

Click here to register for the conference.