2016 Plenary 1: Make Democracy Great Again


Dr. Shlomo Avineri, Professor of Political Science, Hebrew University of
Jerusalem, Israel

Hon. Ömer Çelik, Minister for European Union Affairs, Ministry for European
Affairs, Turkey

The Right Hon. Sir Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence, Ministry of
Defence, United Kingdom

Walter Russell Mead, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute; James Clarke
Chace Professor, Bard College; and Editor-At-Large, The American Interest


Jonathan Tepperman, Managing Editor, Foreign Affairs

The moderator, Jonathan Tepperman, framed the first plenary by asking whether 2016 can be considered as a year of democracy’s vindication or defeat. Speakers responded that the answer is much more complex. The viability of the Western democratic model is being challenged, but the feeling of disenfranchisement among segments of the population is part of a broader trend of alienation from liberalism – in both ideology and practice. The discussion that followed stressed the importance of politics transcending political parties and institutions in order to get closer to addressing the needs of the people.