2016 Plenary 1: Make Democracy Great Again

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.