Reawakening the Spirit of Democracy

A conference co-hosted by Renew Democracy Initiative and SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins Peabody Library

Nativism and authoritarianism are gaining a foothold in countries around the globe. Populist movements are growing. Long established international alliances are fraying. Institutions that protect and promote our liberties are being buffeted by attacks from the left and right. These trends have led many to ask: Can liberal democracy endure?

“Reawakening the Spirit of Democracy” will address this question head-on. Co-hosted by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins and the Renew Democracy Initiative, this conference will convene a diverse group of thought leaders – from across both the political spectrum and the world – who will examine and wrestle with the underlying threats to liberal democracy and propose strategies to reinvigorate it.  Over the course of these two-days of discussion and healthy debate, they will model civil and productive discourse not only for the leaders of today but also for those who will chart the course for open societies in the future.

The conference will open with a conversation about what leadership allies in other democracies expect from the United States, and it will conclude with United States Senators exploring the leadership they believe the United States should offer.  In between, panelists will examine the conditions leading to populist movements on the left and right in countries spanning the globe, the changing dynamics of political parties, and the rise of disinformation and its impact on democratic societies.

Conference participants Include:

  • Yamiche Alcindor, Correspondent, PBS NewsHour
  • Anne Applebaum, Washington Post columnist and Professor of Practice, London School of Economics
  • Sheri Berman, Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University
  • Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Eric Cantor, former United States Representative, Virginia
  • Ben Cardin, United States Senator, Maryland
  • Eliot Cohen, Executive Vice Dean, Johns Hopkins University
  • Ronald J Daniels, President, Johns Hopkins University
  • Evelyn Farkas, Resident Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund, Founding Partner Scarlet Oak Advisors
  • Michèle Fluornoy, Co-Founder and Managing Director, WestExec Advisors
  • Bill Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
  • Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg, Chairman, Spitzberg Partners
  • Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, New York University Stern School of Business
  • Heidi Heitkamp, former United States Senator, North Dakota
  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia and Berggruen Fellow at Center for Advanced Studies, Stanford University
  • Garry Kasparov, Chairman, Renew Democracy Initiative
  • Bill Kristol, Founding Director, Defending Democracy Together
  • Mark Lasswell, Associate Op-Ed Editor, Washington Post
  • Edward Lucas, Senior Vice-President, Center for European Policy Analysis
  • Barbara Mikulski, former United States Senator, Maryland
  • Yascha Mounk, Associate Professor SAIS Johns Hopkins and SNF Agora Institute
  • Jennifer Rubin, Opinion Writer, Washington Post
  • Christopher Steele, former British Intelligence Officer
  • Bret Stephens, New York Times Columnist
  • Pete Wehner, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Contributing Opinion Writer, New York Times