The Santa Fe World Affairs Forum aims to broaden and deepen understanding of world affairs through small, interactive, professionally led sessions on international issues for a membership of informed individuals.

PAST PROGRAM

Annual Symposium 2019

April 11- 12, 2019

Rising Authoritarianism: Can Democracy Meet the Challenge?

Please Download Form and Send it to Santa Fe World Affair Forum: Click here to Download Symposium Registration.

April 11-12, 2019

 Professor Melissa Bokovoy, Chair, History Department, University of New Mexico. Eastern Europe Specialist; Ellen Laipson, Director, International Security Program, George Mason University, former Director of the Stimson Center; Ambassador Charles Shapiro (rtd), President of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, former US Ambassador to Venezuela and career senior US Foreign Service Officer (rtd); Professor James West, former professor of Russian History and Humanities, Middlebury College and the Humanitarian University, St. Petersburg, Russia; Folkert Geert Wilman, Attorney, European Commission, EU Legal Service, Brussels, and EU Fellowship Program 2018-19; Ambassador James Zumwalt (rtd), CEO Sasekawa Peace Foundation USA, former US Ambassador to Senegal and career senior US Foreign Service Officer.

Summary

This year’s symposium on April 11 and 12 will address an issue of especially vital concern to us all: “Rising Authoritarianism: Can Democracy Meet the Challenge?” Taking place on the campus of Santa Fe Community College, the Symposium will bring together six specialists who will speak individually, introducing a global overview of the underlying causes of authoritarianism and of countervailing measures against its rise, followed by sessions focusing on the specific circumstances in Europe, Latin America, and the U.S.

Also included will be a student panel of foreign and dual-national students studying at colleges and universities here in New Mexico. As in the past the Symposium will offer all attendees ample opportunity for questions, discussions, and informal exchanges with speakers.

For more than two centuries, America has advocated for democratic principles starting with its Founding Fathers who proclaimed our nation to be created by and for the people, to joining with the liberal world to fight for our beliefs in two world wars.  Following those wars, the United States was in the forefront of international efforts to create global institutions dedicated to peace, prosperity and justice. Our leaders have sometimes badly faltered or made poor decisions in seeking to preserve American leadership and universal values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.  But we have for the most part tried to move forward towards such aspirational goals throughout our history.    Other nations have not always agreed with our individual policies, but no one doubted the American example of strong democratic institutions, a robust civil society and a desire to build a world based on common values and interests.

Now, as a new era of international strongmen emerges, are America’s traditions and institutions capable of ensuring that democratic principles continue to push back on the tyranny that has threatened every generation?  The symposium examines this moment with open eyes, asking tough questions about the global authoritarian threat, its underlying causes, and how it can be, and is being, countered.

When strong democratic institutions and civil society perform their essential functions, society enjoys a good faith debate about the best way to advance global and national interests.  However, when rule of law is eroded, nationalism politicized, alliances strained, the press demonized and society fractured by rising hate crimes and attacks on electoral integrity, the norms that promote and preserve a resilient democratic society become frayed. International institutions based on shared democratic values can also be undermined and weakened when the U.S. government appears to question their continuing relevance.

Can the U.S. continue to be a leader that holds others to account when we ourselves falter in meeting these challenges? What causes the authoritarian impulse to break out of the democratic norm, and why do so many here and abroad find these demagogic appeals so attractive?  Has a decline in American global leadership inadvertently given other nations permission to erode their own democratic institutions?  Will a fractured and divided America be able, or willing, to work with other democracies holding others accountable when we fail to do so at home?

Focusing on Europe, Latin America and the US, the symposium will examine these questions in order to better understand not only the causes and symptoms that bring us to this moment, but just as importantly, to explore what can be done to meet these authoritarian challenges to democracy.

Symposium Schedule

8:00-8:30:     Registration

8:30-8:45:     Welcome

Dr. Cecilia Cervantes, Interim President SFCC.

8:45-10:15:     Ellen Laipson, Director, International Security Program, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University, “How 21st Century Geopolitics Poses Risks to the Future of Democracy”.

10:15-10:25:     Coffee Break

10:30-11:55:     Dr. Melissa Bokovoy, History Dept Chair, University of New Mexico, “Manipulation of History in Eastern Europe”.

11:55-1:15:     Lunch

1:15 – 2:45:     Dr. James West, Professor of Russian History and Humanities, “The Fascist Temptation”. 

2:45-3:00:     Afternoon Break

3:00- 4:30:     Dr. Folkert Wilman, attorney, EU Commission, EU Legal Service, Brussels, “Not So Social Media? European Responses to Social Media’s Dark Sides”.

4:30-5:30:     “Meet the Speaker Reception” SFCC

9:15-9:30:     Registration

9:30 -10:00:     Welcome

Alan Webber, Santa Fe Mayor

10:00-11:30:    US Ambassador (rtd) Charles Shapiro, President of the World Affairs Council Atlanta, Latin America: Authoritarianism on the Right and Left. )

11:30-11:45:     Coffee Break

11:45- 12:45:  Student Panel (3-4 students from local institutions) discussing their own civil society moderated by US Ambassador (rtd) Mark Asquino

12:45 – 1:30:     Lunch

1:30- 3:00:     US Ambassador (rtd) James Zumwalt, CEO Sasakawa Foundation, American Democratic Values at Risk: US Leadership Where Do We Go From Here? 

The Speakers

Professor Melissa Bokovoy
Professor Melissa BokovoyChair, History Department, University of New Mexico. Eastern Europe Specialist
Topic: “Manipulation of History in Eastern Europe”

More About
Ellen Laipson
Ellen LaipsonDirector, International Security Program, George Mason University, former Director of the Stimson Center
Topic: “How 21st Century Geopolitics Poses Risks to the Future of Democracy?”

More About
Ambassador Charles Shapiro
Ambassador Charles ShapiroPresident of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, former US Ambassador to Venezuela and career senior US Foreign Service Officer (rtd)
Topic: “Latin America: Authoritarianism on the Right and Left”

More About
Professor James West
Professor James WestFormer professor of Russian History and Humanities, Middlebury College and the Humanitarian University, St. Petersburg, Russia
Topic: “The Fascist Temptation”

More About
Folkert Geert Wilman
Folkert Geert WilmanAttorney, European Commission, EU Legal Service, Brussels, and EU Fellowship Program 2018-19
Topic: “Not So Social Media? European Responses to Social Media’s Dark Sides”

More About
James Zumwalt
James ZumwaltCEO Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, former US Ambassador to Senegal and career senior US Foreign Service Officer
Topic: “American Democratic Values at Risk: US Leadership – Where Do We Go From Here?”

More About

Cosponsors and Partners

Cosponsors
The Colorado European Union Center of Excellence (CEUCE)
The European Union
The Santa Fe Community College

 

Partner Organizations include:
AAUW – Albuquerque
American Foreign Service Association
DPSFC
Fulbright Association of NM
Global Ties – ABQ
Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security (LACACIS)
PDAA: the Public Diplomacy Association of America
Public Diplomacy Council
RENESAN
Santa Fe Art Institute
Santa Fe Sister Cities Committee
School for Advanced Research (SAR)
Sister Cities International – New Mexico
UNM – International Studies Institute
UWC-USA
WISC: Women’s International Studies Center
World Affairs Council-Albuquerque
Donors

TBD

Student Scholarship Sponsors

TBD

EU Logo

Registration

April 11 & 12
Members:  $95
Non-Members: $120
Students: $60

 

April 11 Only
Members & Nonmembers: $75

 

April 12 Only
Members & Nonmembers: $65

Register for the Symposium:




Where

Santa Fe Community College – Jemez Room

From Rodeo Road turn south onto Richards Avenue. At the third roundabout turn into the campus main drive.
The Visitors Parking Lot is to the right as you enter the campus via Richards Ave. (Handicap parking spaces are in the lot to the left.) Enter the administrative building to the left through the courtyard behind the poles flying the US and New Mexico flags. Walk to the end of the main corridor. The Jemez Rooms are next to the cafeteria, before you reach the bookstore.

Click edit button to change this text.