The Mitchell Center’s 2018-19 Speakers Series, is driven by a growing sense that democratic governance is under siege around the world. New democracies such as Poland and Hungary are reverting to authoritarian practices. Voters throughout the West – and elsewhere – have shown a willingness to jettison democratic institutions and norms to pursue the narrow interests of national, linguistic, or religious groups. Commitment to democracy has waned in particular among young people. The United States and other countries have witnessed demagogic attacks on the media, the courts, and an array of perceived internal enemies. “Democracy in Trouble?” seeks to both examine and counter these trends with wide-ranging discussions that reach our entire campus community and beyond.
The Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracyaims not just to promote, but to understand, democracy. Global in its outlook, multifaceted in its purposes, the Mitchell Center seeks to contribute to the ongoing quest for democratic values, ideas, and institutions throughout the world. In addition to hosting speakers from the fields of academia, journalism, politics, and public policy, the Mitchell Center supports undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral research. It continues the legacy of the Penn Program for Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism, which fostered interdisciplinary scholarship from 2007 to 2017.