January 19, 2021

How Is Democracy Doing?

Event Series: Free Speech at the Crossroads: International Dialogues

How Is Democracy Doing? Video Player

Showing the How Is Democracy Doing? Video

"No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise," said the late Winston Churchill in 1947. "Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried . . ."

Panelists considered the fundamental question: how is democracy doing? They discussed surprising successes, disappointing failures, persistent issues of self-determination, and the recent insurrection in Washington intended to overturn the election of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. The conversation was moderated by Professor Michael Scott, senior dean and Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, the University of Oxford, and Sanford J. Ungar, director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University.

This event was co-sponsored by the Free Speech Project and the Future of the Humanities Project at Georgetown University.

Participants

John Kampfner

John Kampfner

John Kampfner is an award-winning author, broadcaster, and regular contributor to the opinion pages of British and international publications and on broadcast outlets. Previously he was the Financial Times chief political correspondent and political commentator for the BBC's Today program. The author of six books, his book Why the Germans Do It Better (2020) was named top of the Guardian’s political books of the year. He is a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.

Amanda Bennett

Amanda Bennett

Amanda Bennett is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, investigative journalist, and editor. She was the Voice of America director from March 2016 to April 2020. Previously, she was Bloomberg News executive editor, where she ran a global team of investigative reporters and editors. She was also co-founder of Bloomberg News’ Women’s project. She is the 2018 awardee of the Washington Women in Journalism Lifetime Achievement Award and 2019 recipient of the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award. 

Clarence Page

Clarence Page

Clarence Page, winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a nationally syndicated columnist and editorial board member in the Chicago Tribune’s Washington Bureau. His other honors after four decades of professional journalism include lifetime achievement awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Chicago Headline Club, National Association of Black Journalists, and the 2018 Kiplinger award for distinguished contributions to journalism from the National Press Foundation.

Fernando Gómez Herrero

Fernando Gómez Herrero

Fernando Gómez Herrero is a research fellow in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at Birkbeck College, University of London with interests in Hispanic and Latin American studies. He pursues his academic research in the humanities and the social sciences in combination with writing for several media outlets, among them the paper La Vanguardia (Barcelona, Spain). He is currently working on a book The Americas in the Anglozone: Public Conversations 2001-2021.

Sanford J. Ungar

Sanford J. Ungar

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 education, government, and civil society in the United States. Director of the Voice of America under President Bill Clinton, he was dean of the American University School of Communication after a distinguished career in journalism. Ungar is a former co-host of All Things Considered on NPR.

Michael Scott

Michael Scott

Professor Michael Scott (moderator) is Senior Dean, Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, the University of Oxford, college adviser for postgraduate students, and a Member of the Las Casas Institute. He also serves as senior adviser to the president at Georgetown University. Scott was on the Editorial Board which relaunched Critical Survey from Oxford University Press. Scott previously served as the pro vice chancellor at De Montfort University and founding vice chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University.