The Summit for Democracy: An Important Step or an Empty Symbol?

8 December 2021  10:30 - 11:30

Virtual Event | Organised by Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft | Held in United States in English
Contact details: [email protected]
Defending against authoritarianism
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Will the upcoming “Summit for Democracy” convened by the Biden administration strengthen democracy and American leadership in the world? Or will it instead lead to heightened perceptions of U.S. hypocrisy and double standards? Is it realistic and proper to expect the United States to demand reforms from illiberal leaders of key partner states, like Andrzej Duda, Rodrigo Duterte, and Narendra Modi?

More generally, is the promotion of democracy in the world really a vital U.S. interest, and is it actually viable? Does the Summit provide a useful opportunity to reform the authoritarian political systems of U.S. rivals such as China and Russia , or does it unnecessarily worsen already tense and dangerous relations with both? Does it reflect a clear contemporary division in Asia and Europe between democratic and authoritarian states, or is it an attempt to apply the paradigm of the Cold War to a different and much more complex situation in both regions today?


  • Anatol Lieven, Senior Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute;
  • Daniel Nexon, Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University; and 
  • Marlene Laruelle, Director of the Illiberalism Studies Program at George Washington University.
  • Sarang Shidore, Director of Studies at the Quincy Institute, will moderate.