CFR Launches Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation Project on the Future of Democracy

February 18, 2021 2:23 pm (EST)

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The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) announces the launch of a project on the future of democracy, funded by a generous grant from the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation, that will identify threats to the health of democracies around the world and outline steps that policymakers, business leaders, civil society, and citizens in the United States and other countries can take to reverse the erosion of democratic norms and values.

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“The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation Project on the Future of Democracy comes at a critical time, as open political systems are being tested by COVID-19, new technologies, social media, financial and racial inequality, and a lack of consensus on reform. This context provides new urgency to better understand the state of democracy, what has contributed to its decline, and what might be done to advance its renewal,” said CFR President Richard N. Haass

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The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation Project on the Future of Democracy will include events, publications, and outreach efforts over the course of three years aimed at generating a wider public conversation on how to reinvigorate democracy in the twenty-first century.

The project will be conducted by experts in CFR’s David Rockefeller Studies Program, including CFR Senior Fellow Yascha Mounk—a leading expert on the crisis of liberal democracy and the rise of populism—and involving nearly a dozen other CFR fellows with expertise on political developments in Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. It will be directed by Shannon K. O’Neil, vice president, deputy director of studies, and Nelson and David Rockefeller senior fellow for Latin American Studies.

For more information, please contact the Global Communications and Media Relations team at 212.434.9888 or [email protected].

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The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation was established in 1987 by Carl Spielvogel and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. A long-standing CFR member, Spielvogel is an international business executive, who has conducted trade and commerce in fifty-five countries during his extensive career. He served as chief executive officer of three of the world’s largest global marketing and communications companies, including Backer Spielvogel Bates Worldwide, Inc., and served as vice chairman and a member of the board of directors of the Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. He served as U.S. ambassador to the Slovak Republic and as governor of the U.S. Board of Broadcasting. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel is a preservationist, advocate for the arts and public policy, author of more than twenty books, and a producer and interviewer for many national television series. She was the first woman to serve in a leadership position, as vice chair, on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the first director of cultural affairs in New York City, the longest-serving in city history as New York City landmarks preservation commissioner, and the chair of the New York State Council on the Arts, among others. They have both served on numerous New York City, New York State, U.S., and international boards.

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