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Evening Plenaries

Democracy in Crisis? Challenges to Direct Democracy in the 21st Century (in German)

Tuesday 9 July, 18.30-20.00, HS 1


Is democracy currently facing a crisis? Several developments are interpreted as assaults upon democracy. It is argued that new populist movements threaten to undermine democracy and its independent institutions or that globalisation and internationalisation compromise democratic self-government. In Switzerland, the federal popular initiative, an instrument of direct democracy, has become the focus of controversial debate as numerous popular initiatives provoke collisions with international law and human rights treaties in particular. However, similar tensions and conflicts can be observed in other countries in Europe and the World. Hence we ask, is democracy facing a crisis?

The panel discussion will bring together prominent guests to debate current challenges to direct democracy in the 21st century from a legal, political and philosophical point of view. The discussion will be held in German.

Participants: Christine Abbt, Lukas Bärfuss, Matthias Mahlmann, Philippe Mastronardi, Barbara Bleisch (Moderator)

Further information here.

Panel on Academic Freedom

Thursday 11 July, 19.00-20.00, HS 10


Academic freedom forms a central element of a free inquiring society. The freedom to do research, to publish the results of such and to engage critically in scientific debates about the content of scientific findings without censorship and oppression is a central asset, not only for the personal self-development of researchers. It is crucial, too, for the process of scientific understanding in all fields of research, the natural sciences as much as social sciences or the humanities. It is also important for the epistemic culture underlying a democracy based on knowledge and not on post-truth policies. The panel will discuss current challenges to academic freedom, drawing in particular from the experience of current attacks against this important right in various countries.

Participants: Adam Bodnar, Martina Caroni, Gökçe Çataloluk, András Sajó

Further information here.

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