Since 1919, The New School has been home to scholars, creators, and activists who challenge convention and boldly make their mark on the world.
To celebrate this groundbreaking legacy, we are opening our doors to the public for a weeklong festival of innovative performances, talks, workshops, screenings, exhibitions, and more.

On October 1–6, 2019, join us as we reflect on a century of world-changing ideas and together imagine a new kind of future.

The Festival of New is free and open to all.
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Saturday, October 5 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Democracy Seminar 2.0- Public Forum

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Imagine: a worldwide network of democrats comparing their experiences, debating about the nature of the new authoritarian threat and the character of the new authoritarian leaders. They would examine how the new authoritarianism is changing their lives. They would critically consider and analyze the conditions for and the obstacles to a democratic life. They would explore, propose, and debate ways of overcoming the obstacles. They would create a global committee of correspondence, sharing their notes with each other, and with a interested global public. They would talk to each other in their own languages, and through translation, overcome linguistic barriers so that they could learn from each other. They would create globally informed democratic responses to the problems of their specific place and time, and to the more global anti-democratic threats.

During this forum, we will host an open discussion with the audience considering questions raised by the current political moment: Does liberal democracy have a future? If so, how can it be defended and reformed? Are there legitimate democratic alternatives to western liberal democracy? If so, what are they, and how are they legitimized? Are some alternative “democratic models” actually tyrannies in democratic clothing? If so, how do they operate? How do we evaluate such notions as illiberal democracy, managed democracy, and guided democracy, or for that matter, social and socialist democracy, and popular, people’s, and participatory democracy?

Saturday October 5, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
The Bob and Sheila Hoerle Lecture Hall - UL105