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Politicians, Journalists, Scholars Meet in Baltimore to Discuss State of Democracy

March 11, 2019
CONTACT: Jill Rosen
Office: 443-997-9906
Cell: 443-547-8805
jrosen@jhu.edu @JHUmediareps

WHAT: Can liberal democracy endure? Reawakening the Spirit of Democracy will address this question head-on. Co-hosted by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University and the Renew Democracy Initiative, this conference will convene global thought leaders from across the political spectrum who will debate threats to democracy and propose strategies to reinvigorate it.

The conference will open with an examination of the conditions leading to populist movements on the left and right in countries spanning the globe, it will then move to conversations about the changing dynamics of political movements in the US and the topic of free speech, followed by discussions of the rise of disinformation and its impact on democratic societies, and the leadership role that the US should play in supporting democracy around the world.

WHEN: Thursday, March 14, 2019, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Johns Hopkins’ Peabody Library, 17 E. Mt. Vernon Pl., Baltimore, MD 21202

LIVESTREAM: www.ustream.tv/channel/johnshopkinsu

TO ATTEND: To cover the event, credentialed media must RSVP to Jill Rosen, jrosen@jhu.edu. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.


9 to 9:15 a.m.: Welcome: Ronald J. Daniels, President, Johns Hopkins

9:20-10:10: Populism vs. Democracy

Moderator: Mark Lasswell, Associate Opinion Page editor, Washington Post
Sheri Berman, Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University
Bill Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Francisco González, Associate Professor of International Political Economy and Latin American Politics, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Yascha Mounk, Professor of Practice SAIS, Senior Fellow, SNF Agora Institute, Johns Hopkins

10:15-11:05: Discourse on the Right

Moderator: Bill Kristol, founding director of Defending Democracy Together
Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Jennifer Rubin, Opinion writer, Washington Post
Pete Wehner, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and contributing opinion writer at the New York Times
Dana White, Former Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs 

11:10-11:50: Discourse on Free Speech

Moderator: Steven David, Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, New York University Stern School of Business
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

11:55-12:35: Discourse on the Left

Moderator: Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent, PBS NewsHour
Donna Brazile, Former Interim Chair, Democratic National Committee
Richard North Patterson, Former Chairman, Common Cause

2:00-2:20: Musical Reflection

2:25-2:35 Remarks, Garry Kasparov, chairman, Renew Democracy Initiative

2:40-3:30: Disinformation and Democracy

Moderator: Anne Applebaum, columnist, Washington Post
Graham Brookie, Director and Managing Editor, Digital Forensic Research Lab, The Atlantic Council
Evelyn Farkas, Resident Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund
Ed Lucas, Senior vice president, Center for European Policy Analysis

3:35-4:25: The Water’s Edge – Toward a Common American Strategy 

Moderator: Bret Stephens, columnist, New York Times
Former Rep. Eric Cantor, Former House Majority Leader, R-VA
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-MD
Former Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-MD, Johns Hopkins professor of public policy
Ambassador Paul Wolfowitz, visiting scholar at AEI

BACKGROUND: The SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University was announced in 2017 with a $150 million gift from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. It serves as an academic and public forum dedicated to strengthening democracy by examining the root causes of polarization and developing and testing new ways to foster civic engagement, inclusive dialogue and the open exchange of ideas. The Institute will bring together a diverse group of scholars and practitioners to support these efforts.

The Renew Democracy Initiative, was founded in 2017 in order to strengthen the intellectual, moral, and social case for liberal democracy. RDI seeks to unite the center-left and center-right to advocate for big ideas and tactical solutions to the many challenges facing liberal democracy.


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