by Surendra Munshi
Much seems to be going wrong with democracy at present. The global advance of democracy is stalled and, what is worse, cynicism about democracy is growing. Recent events in such diverse places as Turkey and the Philippines, the Brexit vote, and the election rhetoric of Donald Trump raise questions about the future of democracy.
Presenting papers by academics, diplomats, journalists, political leaders, and other thought leaders from different parts of the world, Democracy under Threat
considers challenges to functioning democracies from within and outside. It highlights deficiencies of leadership and institutions and the threats posed not only by populism, caudillism, and dynastic rule but also by the spread of authoritarianism and its spirit.
This book helps to make sense of what is happening to democracy in the post-truth era.
Oscar Arias, Shlomo Avineri, Juan Pablo Cardenal, Arjun Chawla, Neelam Deo, Paul Flather, Carl Gershman, Lu Hsiu-lien, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Axel Kaiser, Suat Kınıklıoğlu, Andrej Kiska, Arun Maira, Adam Michnik, Tarek Osman, Thomas Pogge, Iveta Radičová, Alexandr Vondra, Christopher Walker
In conjunction with the Mumbai launch of the book, there will also be a panel discussion, Democracy Under Threat, will include:
Surendra Munshi (Editor)
Surendra Munshi is former professor of Sociology at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, an independent researcher and member of the Program Council of Forum 2000, an organization founded by Václav Havel that upholds the values of democracy, human rights, and tolerance. He has published and spoken on various subjects, including issues concerning democracy, leadership, and global visions.
Neelam Deo has served as the Indian Ambassador to Denmark and Ivory Coast with concurrent accreditation to Niger, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. She has also served in the Indian embassies in Rome, Bangkok and Washington D.C., where she liaised with the U.S. Congress, the State Department, and the National Security Council on strategic issues. Her last assignment was as Consul General in New York from 2005 to 2008. She is an invited speaker on strategic issues and India-U.S. relations at numerous think tanks and universities, in India, Europe and the United States. Apart from her articles and commentaries written exclusively for Gateway House, Neelam occasionally writes for mainstream publications, and is a frequent commentator for television news channels.
Darryl D'Monte is Chairman Emeritus of the Forum of Environmental Journalists in India (FEJI) and Founder President of the International Federation of Environmental Journalists (IFEJ).
Sidharth Bhatia is a Founding Editor of The Wire. He is a journalist and writer based in Mumbai. He was among the editors who launched DNA in 2005 and managed its editorial and opinion section. He writes on politics, society and culture. An Associate Press Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge University, Bhatia's last book was India Psychedelic, the story of a Rocking Generation.
Ramin Jahanbegloo is a well-known Iranian-Canadian philosopher. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy, History and Political Science and later his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University. In 1993 he taught at the Academy of Philosophy in Tehran. He has been a researcher at the French Institute for Iranian Studies and a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. He is presently the Executive Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Nonviolence and Peace Studies and the Vice-Dean of the School of Law at Jindal Global University- Delhi, India. In October 2009 he won the Peace Prize from the United Nations Association in Spain for his extensive academic works in promoting dialogue between cultures and his advocacy for non-violence.
Democracy is being undermined all over the world today. It is being undercut not only by external forces opposed to it but also by those functioning within democracies, weakening its spirit while professing allegiance to it. Several publications, popular as well as scholarly, draw our attention to the dangers to democracy. This is the time to critically examine the functioning of different democratic societies concretely and suggest the way forward. The panel discussion is meant to address this concern of great contemporary relevance.