Can foreign policy of democratic states arrest the global decline of democracy?

This event will be in Birmingham, UK

We are pleased to be hosting this free public event with the University of Birmingham and CEDAR. All are welcome.

In the 1990s the foreign policy of many democratic states included an explicit commitment towards democracy promotion. This commitment is far less clear today, and critical analysis questions the extent to which Western “donors” ever truly prioritised democracy over other goals such as trade relations, security alliances and geo-strategic concerns. Recent research has also identified a number of ways – some intentional, some inadvertent – in which the “everyday engagement” of democratic states actively entrenches authoritarian regimes (Cheeseman and Desrosiers 2023). This panel asks what the connection is between foreign policy and global democratic decline, what considerations – both domestic and international – shape that foreign policy, and what needs to change for foreign policy to more effectively arrest the global decline of democracy.

Sponsor: CEDAR

Chair: Professor Nic Cheeseman

Speakers: Anthony Smith (CEO, Westminster Foundation for Democracy); Dame Melinda Simmons (former British Ambassador to Ukraine, FCDO); Kate Whyte (Head of Governance Profession at FCDO); Professor Catherine O’Regan (University of Oxford) – all speakers TBC.

There will be a reception before the lecture begins: 6.15-7pm.

Places are limited so early registration is advisable and necessary.

If you have registered for the BISA conference then please still register for this event.

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