Background Briefing: December 7, 2021
As the White House Hosts a Summit for Democracy, American Democracy is Under Attack by the GOP
We begin with the two-day White House Summit for Democracy beginning on Thursday at which 111 nations will meet virtually to discuss the health of democratic governance and the need to bolster global democracies under attack from authoritarian and kleptocratic encroachment. Joining us is Laura Thornton, director and senior fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund who previously was director of global programs at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, where she managed multiple teams across Europe focused on constitution-building, parliamentary process, elections, gender and inclusion, political parties, and democracy assessment and analysis. We discuss her op-ed at the Washington Post, “Why international election observers would give Wisconsin a failing grade” and the need for the United States to get its own democratic house in order as massive and multi-layered voter suppression by Trump’s GOP casts doubt on whether Republicans believe in democracy anymore opening up the possibility that 240 years of American democracy could end just like the Soviet Union did.
An Assessment of Today’s Biden and Putin Virtual Summit
Then we get an analysis of the virtual summit today between presidents Biden and Putin and speak with Daniel Treisman, a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences and a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a leading specialist on the politics and economics of post-communist Russia. He is the author of a number of books on Russia, most recently, The New Autocracy: Information, Politics, and Policy in Putin’s Russia and we discuss the urgent need to revive diplomacy around the Minsk agreement between Russia and Ukraine.