How Democracy Survives:

The Crises of the Nation State

A Pardee Center Symposium

In Conjunction with the Stanley Stone Distinguished Lecture Series, the BU College of General Studies,
the Workable World Trust, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies is pleased to host the upcoming symposium, “How Democracy Survives: The Crises of the Nation State.”

In this three-day online symposium, leading scholars and activists from around the world will explore how democratic values and institutions can evolve and adapt to the growing challenges that are now destabilizing democratic nation states, such as climate change, resurgent nationalism, ethnic and religious conflict, human rights abuses, and deepening levels of economic inequality.

Among the questions we will consider:

  • How can local leaders from around the world overcome nationalism to address such global problems as climate change and pandemics more effectively?
  • How can ethnically and religiously diverse nation states maintain democracy in an age of resurgent racism and religious strife?
  • How can democratic governments respond to those aspects of economic globalization that increase economic inequality?
  • How can we address the “democratic deficit” in the United Nations and other international organizations founded in the 20th century?
  • What are the prospects for the growth of new democratic institutions that transcend the boundaries of the nation state in the 21st century?

The symposium will take place from October 28th-30th, 2020, and is free and open to the public. Please register below.




Richard Samuel Deese
Boston University

Michael Holm
Boston University