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Center for Critical Democracy Studies

Symposium: Liberal Democracy and its Challenges for Education and for Political Science

C-104 | 6, rue du Colonel Combes, 75007 Paris
Friday, June 9, 2023 - 09:00 to 17:00

The rise of authoritarian leadership and ideologies in Europe and beyond challenges the very basis of liberal democratic societies and their universities. Simultaneously, the weaknesses of liberal democratic institutions are visible in the decline of public services and underfunding of education. There is a need to reassert basic principles of democracy underpinned by human rights in order to reimagine the structures and forms of society that will best equip humanity to address the climate crisis. This requires interdisciplinary dialogues and cooperation.


To facilitate interdisciplinary explorations on the future of liberal democracy with selected scholars from Paris and London with a view to developing further collaborations and projects. We intend this symposium format to enable informal as well as formal exchanges of knowledge, perspective and experience and to facilitate future collaborations.

To attend the symposium, please register here or via the button below.


Arrival and coffee | 9:00

Panel 1 | 9.15 – 10.45 | Confusionism

  • Philippe Marlière (UCL) Political confusionism as a threat to liberal democracy
  • Jeremy Hayward (UCL) Epistemic challenges to liberal democracy - conspiracy theories, disinformation and the role of education

Break | 10.45 – 11.15

Panel 2 | 11.15 – 12.45 | Legitimacy crisis

  • Yves Sintomer (Paris 8) The legitimacy crisis of liberal democracy: some lessons from the subaltern studies
  • Julian Culp (AUP) Democracy and Education in a “Society of Broadcasters”

Lunch | 12.45 – 13.30

Panel 3 | 13.30 – 15.00 | Minorities and liberal democracy

  • Roman Zinigrad (AUP) Muslim Minorities and Fundamental Values in France and Great Britain
  • Marcus Haeggrot (Sciences Po) Proportional Sortition: Legislative Inclusion for Non-Voting Citizens

Tea break | 15.00 – 15.15

Panel 3 | 15.15 – 16.45 | How can education respond to threats to liberal democracy?

  • Abi Branford (Oxford) Early findings from the Empire, Migration & Belonging in English Secondary Schools Project
  • Jeanne Bouyat (Sciences Po) Anti-xenophobia education in South African schools

Final words and Future Plans (Julian Culp and Hugh Starkey)  | 16.45