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About the Event

The Trump administration’s “America First” foreign policy has produced a withdrawal from global institutions and a turn away from multilateralism for the United States. Meanwhile, the world’s other great-power geopolitical actors—China and Russia—pursue vigorous foreign policy goals in their regional neighborhoods and elsewhere around the world.

Will liberalism in global governance survive not only the pandemic, but the foreign policy ambitions of Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin? And is this contest for global pre-eminence a threat to global security, stability, and peace?

For the second event of this three-part series—titled “Democracy on the Table”—a panel of experts discussed China, Russia, and the possibility of a new illiberal global order in a post-pandemic world.

About the Panelists

  • Lisa Baglione, PhD, Professor, Political Science Department, Saint Joseph's University
  • Christopher Layne, PhD, University Distinguished Professor of International Affairs, & Robert M. Gates Chair in National Security,  Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University
  • Bobo Lo, PhD, Nonresident Fellow, The Lowy Institute

Series Education Partner

Series Corporate Sponsor


About the Series:

Nearly every day, the news is focused in some way or another on threats to democracy around the world. 

In Europe, there are concerns over wavering Brexit plans, and what it means for democracy in the UK and its relationship not just the EU, but other allies around the world. Autocrats like Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China are both testing the limits of democracy and feeling pressure from their neighbors in places like Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Hong Kong. Narendra Modi’s crackdown on dissent and other freedoms is rocking the foundations of democracy in India. Populist leaders like Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Joko Widodo in Indonesia, Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines are eroding individual rights and deepening corruption in their respective countries.

Even here in the United States, some are claiming that the end of American democracy as we know it has arrived. And in looking back on the wisdom of one of our country’s Founding Fathers, John Adams perhaps foreshadowed our current moment when he said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Join the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia for a series about the threats, opportunities, limits, and future of democracy at home and around the world.