Symbolic conference picture showing a man in uniform stopping the human evolution

Conference highlights the challenges to liberal democracy

On 15 November, the digital conference "A Questioned Democracy 2023" brought together more than 80 participants from academia, public authorities and civil society to discuss opportunities and threats in this highly topical societal challenge.

The aim of the conference was to highlight the increasing questioning of liberal democracy and the problems and opportunities that challenge liberal democracy.

The keynote speaker, Professor Pippa Norris of Harvard University, is one of the world's leading scholars on issues related to the global retreat of democracy. Conference participants were among the first in the world to hear the presentation of her forthcoming book "The Cultural Roots of Democratic Backsliding".

Norris discussed how liberal democracy was affected after authoritarian populists entered government. She emphasised that one term of authoritarian populists in power was not enough for democracy to be threatened, but if authoritarian populists are in power for a couple of terms or more, all the data shows a decline in democracy.

In other lectures and panels, researchers and journalists discussed the challenges of democracy in relation to alternative media, AI, threats to women in public life and conspiracy theories.

-The conference has convincingly demonstrated the challenges for liberal democracy, but also pointed to interesting opportunities to strengthen liberal democracy, says Magnus Hagevi, leader of Knowledge Environment Linnaeus A Questioned Democracy (If-dem).

The next step in If-dem's work is the publication of the book "A questioned democracy: Researchers and practitioners in dialogue".
The digital conference was organised by Knowledge Environment Linnaeus A Questioned Democracy.

More information:

Linnaeus Knowledge Environment: A Questioned Democracy:

The conference "A Questioned Democracy":