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Beyond Biden’s ‘Democracy Summit’: Internal and External Challenges to Democracy at Home and Abroad

December 10, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST

Later this week, President Joe Biden will convene more than 100 world leaders as well as representatives from civil society and the private sector for the highly anticipated virtual “Summit for Democracy.” This online event is the first of two proposed gatherings and focuses on “renewing democracy in the United States and around the world.” Holding the summit is a major step in meeting one of Biden’s main campaign promises, but it is not free of controversy. How much can such a meeting actually achieve?

Join the American Council on Germany on Friday, December 10 at 11 am ET (5 pm CET), for a discussion about the internal and external challenges to democracy in Europe, the United States, and around the world with Dr. Frances Brown, Co-Director and Senior Fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Ralf Fücks, Managing Director of the Center for Liberal Modernity in Berlin. We’ll also hear what they hope comes out of the “Democracy Summit.”

This event is supported by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.

Dr. Frances Z. Brown is a senior fellow and co-director of the Carnegie Endowment’s Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program. She previously worked at the White House, USAID, and in non-governmental organizations, and writes extensively on conflict, governance, and U.S. foreign policy.

In her last role before leaving government, Dr. Brown served as director for democracy and fragile states on the White House National Security Council (NSC) staff, where she helped manage policy processes on democracy support, key political transitions, and post-conflict stabilization efforts. Serving in both the Obama and Trump administrations, she also convened a fragile states interagency committee, aimed at elevating comparative insights on conflict into policy deliberations.

Prior to the NSC, Dr. Brown served at the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Transition Initiatives, managing stabilization and political transition programs in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Africa from the field and Washington. Previous research roles include fellowships with the Council on Foreign Relations, Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, the U.S. Institute of Peace, as well as her doctoral work at Oxford, which examined donors’ bottom-up state-building and stabilization programs in conflict-affected states. Other experience outside of government includes two years in Beirut, Lebanon; a year at the Kabul-based Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit; consulting for the Quadrennial Defense Review; shorter project-management roles in Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, and Pakistan; and political risk forecasting.

She has published field research projects on Afghanistan stabilization and subnational governance with the U.S. Institute of Peace, on Syria stabilization with Carnegie, and shorter analyses in the American InterestForeign AffairsForeign Policy, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the International Herald Tribune, and elsewhere. On television, Brown has commented on U.S. foreign policy for BBC World News, ABC News (Australia), Al-Jazeera, and elsewhere. She is a security fellow with the Truman National Security Project and a prior term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ralf Fücks is Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of the Center for Liberal Moder­nity, fol­low­ing 21 years as Pres­i­dent of the Hein­rich-Böll-Stiftung, the polit­i­cal foun­da­tion asso­ci­ated with the Greens. At the center of his work were green eco­nom­ics and eco­log­i­cal inno­va­tion, migra­tion, the future of Europe, and inter­na­tional pol­i­tics. Before that, he was co-chair of the German Green Party (1989/​​90) and Senator of Envi­ron­ment and City Devel­op­ment in Bremen.

Mr. Fücks is con­sid­ered to be an innovative thinker, seeking cross-party dis­course. He is an advo­cate for liberal ecology pol­i­tics, focus­ing on inno­va­tion rather than pro­hi­bi­tion. He is a regular con­trib­u­tor to national and inter­na­tional media and co-author to numer­ous books. In 1991, he was editor of the book “Sind die Grünen noch zu retten?” (Is There a Future for the Green Party?). In 2013 his book “Intel­li­gent Wachsen – Die grüne Rev­o­lu­tion” (Smart Growth – The Green Rev­o­lu­tion) was pub­lished in German, fol­lowed by English, Polish and Russian edi­tions. His second book, “Frei­heit vertei­di­gen – wie wir den Kampf um die offene Gesellschaft gewin­nen” (Defend­ing Freedom – How We Can Win the Fight For An Open Society) is dealing with the chal­lenge liberal democ­racy is facing at home and glob­ally. In Sep­tem­ber 2019, the anthol­ogy “Soziale Mark­twirtschaft ökol­o­gisch erneuern” (“Green­ing the Social Market Economy”) was pub­lished by Fücks together with Thomas Köhler at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.


December 10, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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