“Democracy has lost its luster,” writes Roger Cohen. “It’s an idea without a glow. And that’s worrying.
With the emergence of new quasi-democracies and autocratic regimes legitimized by an electoral patina, the distinction between democracy and authoritarianism has become more opaque, he notes.
“The dichotomy between freedom and tyranny suddenly seemed oh-so 20th century,” Cohen claims. And the absence of a coherent alternative to democracy perversely works to the benefit of the new authoritarians.
“Regimes like the one in Russia are stabilized by the fact that they have no ideology,” said Ivan Krastev, a fellow at Vienna’s Institute for Human Sciences. “There is really no ideological means to attack them.”
Nevertheless, Cohen concludes, it’s “important to stanch the anti-democratic tide.”
Ivan Krastev will deliver the 2010 Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World
Krastev, the chairman of Bulgaria’s Centre for Liberal Strategies will discuss Paradoxes of the New Authoritarianism.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010. 6:00 p.m. (Reception to follow). The Embassy of Canada, 501 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC. RSVP (acceptances only) by October 13 to (202) 378-9675 or email email@example.com Photo ID required.