The World Affairs Council of Charleston hosts six speaking events each year, three in each the spring and fall.  During those seasons, come to this page to find information about each upcoming speaker, and the date and time of the event.

'Is the Global Liberal Democratic Order in Crisis?'

October 03, 2018 at 6:00 PM 
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The Citadel Alumni Center
69 Hagood Ave.
Charleston, SC 29403


Is the Global Liberal Democratic Order in Crisis, and Why Should We Even Care in the First Place?

Electoral integrity, freedom of the press, and rule of law are “under assault and in retreat globally.” 2017 was the 12th consecutive year in which average levels of political rights and civil liberties have trended downward. 71 countries declined in freedom, while only 35 gained; and among those countries with significant changes, 20 sharply declined, only 6 sharply improved. Since 2006, twice as many countries have declined in freedom as have improved.                                                                                                                                -Larry Diamond


It is axiomatic that almost 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union that the euphoria of ‘The End of History’ has passed, and we are once again mired in a frightening world of ethnic conflicts, weapons of mass destruction, and rogue regimes. The retreat of democratic norms and the hollowing out of democratic institutions globally seems like a logical extension of some broader worrisome trends.

But what is the true reckoning of the state of democracy globally in 2018? Democracy is a complex phenomenon, and it is therefore not possible to simply label each of the globe’s 200 countries as ‘democratic’ or ‘undemocratic’. What are the different types of democratic failure across the globe, the different ways of estimating the depth of commitment to democratic norms and institutions, and what are the nuanced trends? Are there countertrends? Is Malaysia, which just scored a victory for democracy, an outlier or a harbinger of a democratic resurgence?

But all of this assumes that democracy is good and potentially viable outside its historical home in northern Europe and America. Can we assume this? The unofficial slogan of Foreign Affairs, the journal of record for international relations, is ‘Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.’ Some leaders are skeptical that there are practical, much less moral, reasons to find global democracy appealing. What are the practical benefits of global democracy, and do they clearly outweigh some obvious negatives?

Dr. Larry Diamond is Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science and Sociology at Stanford University. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on global democracy and has written six books and numerous book chapters and scholarly articles on the topic. 

Date:                                    Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Event and time:                6:00 PM cocktail hour, 6:45 PM three-course dinner, 7:15-8:30 PM talk and Q&A

Location:                              Courvoisier room at the Citadel Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Ave.

Cost:                                      $50.00 per guest, all inclusive; student and emerging fee, $25 per person

Priority registration for WACC members. Event open to the public. Seating is limited. 




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$50.00 WACC Member Ticket

$50.00 Non-Member Ticket

$25.00 Students, Teachers, and College Faculty Ticket

$25.00 Signature Attendees - Under 40 Years of Age Ticket

$0.00 Comp Ticket