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Reawakening the Spirit of Democracy

  • George Peabody Library 17 East Mount Vernon Place Baltimore, MD, 21202 United States (map)

Morning Session
9:00 am - 12:30 pm

Afternoon Session
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Our Inaugural conference, “Reawakening the Spirit of Democracy” is free and open to the public. Register here.

Nativism and authoritarianism are gaining a foothold in countries around the globe. Populist movements are growing. Long established international alliances are fraying. Institutions that protect and promote our liberties are being buffeted by attacks from the left and right.

These trends have led many to ask: 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 and the Renew Democracy Initiative, this conference will convene a diverse group of thought leaders – from across both the political spectrum and the world – who will examine and wrestle with the underlying threats to liberal democracy and propose strategies to reinvigorate it. Through vigorous debate and discussion, our panelists will model civil and productive discourse not only for the leaders of today but also for those who will chart the course for open societies in the future.

Panelists will examine the conditions leading to populist movements on the left and right in countries spanning the globe, the changing dynamics of political parties, 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.

Speakers include:

  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves
    former President of Estonia and Berggruen Fellow at Center for Advanced Studies, Stanford University

  • Garry Kasparov
    Chairman, Renew Democracy Initiative

  • Bill Kristol
    Founding Director, Defending Democracy Together

  • Mark Lasswell
    Associate Op-Ed Editor, Washington Post

  • Edward Lucas
    Senior Vice-President, Center for European Policy Analysis

  • Barbara Mikulski
    former United States Senator, Maryland

  • Yascha Mounk
    Associate Professor SAIS Johns Hopkins and SNF Agora Institute

  • Jennifer Rubin
    Opinion Writer, Washington Post

  • Richard North Patterson
    Author, Columnist, and Former Chairman, Common Cause

  • Bret Stephens
    New York Times Columnist

  • Pete Wehner
    Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Contributing Opinion Writer, New York Times

  • Paul Wolfowitz
    Former Deputy Secretary of Defense

  • Yamiche Alcindor
    Correspondent, PBS NewsHour

  • Anne Applebaum
    Washington Post columnist

  • Sheri Berman
    Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University

  • Max Boot, Jeane
    J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

  • Eric Cantor
    former House Majority Leader, R-VA

  • Ben Cardin
    United States Senator, Maryland

  • Ronald J Daniels
    President, Johns Hopkins University

  • Evelyn Farkas
    Resident Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund, Founding Partner Scarlet Oak Advisors

  • Michèle Fluornoy
    Co-Founder and Managing Director, WestExec Advisors

  • Bill Galston
    Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

  • Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg
    Chairman, Spitzberg Partners

  • Jonathan Haidt
    Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, New York University Stern School of Business

  • Heidi Heitkamp
    former United States Senator, North Dakota


Free and open to the public