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April 25, 2024

Revitalizing Democracy: The Faith Dimension

Event Series: Ways Forward in a Divided World

Showing the Revitalizing Democracy: The Faith Dimension Video

Democracy is on the global defensive. Dictators in China and Russia, autocrats in India and Turkey, and nationalist populists in the United States and Europe are among the many elites attacking democratic principles and institutions. Among the world’s citizens, trust in democracy and its capacity to advance political, social, and economic justice is on the decline. Ece Temelkuran makes the case for a new, secular democratic faith—a commitment to the transformative power of democracy to address polarization and advance justice in practice.

What are the origins of the current global crisis of democracy? What combination of political, social, economic, cultural, and psychological forces is driving it? How might renewed beliefs, emotional bonds, and political commitments help to revitalize democracy around the world? Ece Temelkuran and Sohrab Ahmari explored these questions in a conversation moderated by Charles King.

This event was part of the Georgetown Global Dialogues, which featured leading intellectuals from the Global South in forward-looking conversations with U.S.-based thinkers across a range of topics. It was co-sponsored by the Center on Faith and Justice, Master of Arts in Democracy and Governance program, Department of Government, Institute of Politics and Public Service, and Office of Mission & Ministry at Georgetown University.


Headshot of Ece Temelkuran.

Ece Temelkuran

Ece Temelkuran is a Turkish novelist, a political thinker, and a leading analyst of the erosion of democracy and the challenge of populism on a global scale. She is the author of Together: 10 Choices for a Better Now (2021) as well as the acclaimed How to Lose a Country: The Seven Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship (2019). Her novels are published in several languages. A frequent contributor to The GuardianThe New York TimesLe Monde, and other leading outlets, she is the recipient of the PEN Translates Award and the Freedom of Thought Award from the Human Rights Association of Turkey. In 2023 she received the El Mundo Award for her body of work.

Headshot of Sohrab Ahmari.

Sohrab Ahmari

Sohrab Ahmari is a founder and editor of Compact and a contributing writer for the New Statesman. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Republic, the Atlantic, the Spectator, Chronicle of Higher Education, the Times Literary Supplement, Commentary, Dissent, and the American Conservative, for which he is a contributing editor. Ahmari’s books include Tyranny, Inc.: How Private Power Crushed American Liberty — and What To Do About It (2023) and The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos (2021).

Headshot of Charles King.

Charles King

Charles King is a professor of international affairs and government at Georgetown University. King’s books—including the New York Times-bestselling Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century (2019), which received the Parkman Prize in American history and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul (2014)—have been translated into more than a dozen languages. His essays have appeared in leading outlets such as Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.