February 14, 2024

Elections, Elections: How Will the World Be Different at the End of 2024?

Event Series: Free Speech at the Crossroads: International Dialogues

United Nation’s Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland

More than 50 countries have already gone, or are set to go, to the polls to elect leaders in 2024, representing a large percentage of the world’s population—a fact made more daunting by the reality that, in some nations, democracy is on the line. The implications for human rights, international relations, and economics loom large. In the United States, two unpopular candidates are likely to face off in a hotly contested rematch. Taiwan has elected a president who rejects China’s sovereignty claims over the island. India, the world’s most populous country, seems likely to re-elect its conservative leader for a third term. The two Mexican presidential front runners are both women. Across Africa, climate change and military mischief remain prevalent. As Pakistan prepares for parliamentary elections, its former prime minister has been sentenced to a long prison term. Russian elections will be held against the backdrop of its ongoing war in Ukraine, and a new challenger has emerged. And in the midst of several elections for the European Parliament, many expect the United Kingdom’s general election to take place before the end of the year. With discontent spreading and populism on the rise, will the global picture be different at the start of 2025?

This event is co-sponsored by the Free Speech Project (Georgetown University) and the Future of the Humanities Project (Georgetown University and Blackfriars Hall and Campion Hall, Oxford).

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Tom Page

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Fernando Cervantes, a professor at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, specializes in early modern European and Latin American intellectual history. He has supervised Ph.D. students on a wide range of subjects, from the phenomenon of diabolism in colonial Peru to the Cristero Revolt in post-revolutionary Mexico.

Louis Goodman, professor and dean emeritus at the School of International Service at American University, carries out research on social change and politics in Latin America and in Asia. His current research focuses on public goods, regional alliances, and development. He has published widely on civil-military relations in Latin America, on foreign investment in developing countries, and on determinants of career success for blue-collar workers.

Baroness Jenny Randerson has been a member of the House of Lords since 2012 and is a Liberal Democratic Party spokesperson for transport. She has served as parliamentary under secretary of state for Wales and a lords’ minister for Northern Ireland. She has also been a Welsh assembly member for Cardiff Central, including a year as acting deputy first minister of Wales.

Chunjuan Nancy Wei, a professor at Wenzhou-Kean University, taught at the University of Bridgeport, where she chaired the East Asian and Pacific Rim Studies program. She has written on the South China Sea disputes, U.S.-China relations, East Asian political economy, and cross-Taiwan Strait politics in the Harvard Asia Quarterly, Yale Journal of International Affairs, and other publications.

Michael Scott (moderator) is senior dean, fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, college adviser for postgraduate students, and a member of the Las Casas Institute. He also serves as senior adviser to the president of Georgetown University. Scott previously was the pro-vice-chancellor at De Montfort University and founding vice-chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University.

Sanford J. Ungar (moderator), president emeritus of Goucher College, is director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University, which documents challenges to free expression in American education, government, and civil society. Director of the Voice of America under President Bill Clinton, he was also dean of the American University School of Communication and is a former co-host of "All Things Considered" on NPR.