Director’s Lecture with David Runciman

Tuesday, February 12
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society
5701 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637

“The Fate of Democracy: Renewal or Decay?”

The current crisis of Western democracy has prompted speculation about its possible looming failure, drawing on historical and international comparisons. This lecture will argue that these comparisons are often the wrong ones, and that the future of democracy needs to be framed in different terms: the demographic and technological changes of the twenty-first century mean that the twentieth century is a poor guide to our likely fate. Instead, the conventional relationship between political action, institutional continuity and social transformation needs to be reconfigured to make sense of where we are and where we might end up.

David Runciman is Professor of Politics at Cambridge University and author of a number of books on the history of democracy, including The Confidence Trap (2013) and How Democracy Ends (2018). He writes regularly about politics for the London Review of Books and hosts the popular weekly podcast Talking Politics.