The fragility of democracy

Réalisation : march 2022
Mise en ligne : 22 avril 2022
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Vignette fragility of democracy


The Fragility of Democracy: Rescuing Dialogue and Deliberation

March 2022


The principles of dialogue and deliberation that form the backbone of democratic systems are under strain. In Europe, several governments have chipped away at the rule of law, while the region grapples with the implications of right-wing nationalist forces inching their way ever closer, swaying voters’ minds in favor of demagoguery and tribalism. In North Africa and Turkey, fragile electoral democracies are undergoing fierce challenges to the rule of law. One year after the Capitol riot of January 6, 2021, the international franchising of Trumpism still permeates the fabric of democratic societies, while subversive temptations have found fertile ground across the West in anti-vaccine movements.

Defiance of the customs and rules of decency continue to challenge public discourse, turning elections from a shared ritual into a divisive experience. These trends are a reflection and a catalyst of rapidly eroding trust in democratic institutions and its central tenets. Issues that once formed a consensus -- such as the necessity of public health policies and the veracity of electoral results -- now provoke vitriolic debate.

With polarized rhetoric on the rise, can democratic degeneration still be reversed? Can there be common ground when political narratives and basic truths collide, replacing rationality? What once seemed like a distant challenge now threatens the stability of our centuries-old institutions. Where political dialogue becomes impracticable, deliberative democracy is imperiled. A concerted effort is needed to guide public discussion and conquer the temptation to retreat or abstain.

Organized in collaboration with Reset Dialogues on Civilizations and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Delegation in France, this day-long conference aim to set an agenda to craft solutions for overcoming the biggest threats to our public discourse:


Vignette table ronde Fragilité de la démocratie

Roundtable Restoring dialogue and deliberation in contemporary society

Craig Jackson

Roundtable organized by the FMSH, Reset Dialogues on civilizations and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Delegation in France as part of the one-day conference The Fragility of Democracy: Rescuing

Intervenants et intervenantes