from The Internationalist and International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Biden’s Summit for Democracy Is More Needed Than Ever

The Biden administration should still host its proposed Summit for Democracy provided it approaches it in the spirit of humility rather than hubris.
National Guard members stand guard outside the U.S. Capitol ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, DC, on January 17, 2021.
National Guard members stand guard outside the U.S. Capitol ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, DC, on January 17, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

In my weekly column for World Politics ReviewI write about why now more than ever, democracy’s champions need to hang together, but that the proposed Summit of Democracy comes with its own risks and concerns.

The sacking of the U.S. Capitol by an insurrectionist mob incited by President Donald Trump has exposed the fragility of American democracy and strained the nation’s already diminished credibility to promote freedom and democracy worldwide. That is a problem for Joe Biden. The president-elect, who will be inaugurated Wednesday, has promised to quickly convene an international Summit for Democracy “to renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the Free World.”

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In the aftermath of Jan. 6, there have been calls for Biden to abandon this idea, insisting that America must get its own house in order before trying to revive democracy globally. That is a false choice, however. Now more than ever, democracy’s champions need to hang together. Rather than jettison his summit, Biden should frame it as a sober gathering where democratic nations can reconfirm their commitment to rule by the consent of the governed, humbly acknowledge that their own democracies remain works in progress, and pledge individually and collectively to stand up for their shared principles at home and abroad.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

More on:

Democracy

Joe Biden

Transition 2021

Authoritarianism

Foreign Policy