Executive training   Executive MPA  

Challenges to democracy in the 21st century

30 October - 1 November 2023 | Executive seminar

Democracy is under attack in many parts of the world – we have observed Trump in the US (with a potential revival in 2024), Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orban in Hungary and the PiS-Party in Poland. Italy is currently experiencing a neo-fascist government under Meloni and who knows how France and the far-right will develop in the next presidential election in 2025. But besides these visible big shifts in government, we have also experienced smaller institutional changes that challenge or break with democratic principles. Political Science is debating these trends under the headlines “democratic backsliding”, “regression of democracy” and “re-autocratisation”.

Our seminar will deal with the big question of how to recognise these developments, how to measure and contextualise them, and will do a deep-dive into how different regime-types are debated in the social sciences. We will also have a debate on the (changing) role of media in democracies, the role of politics as a profession, and will close with democracy scenarios. What potential paths can democracy take? Where are risks and challenges, but also opportunities?


  • Andrea Römmele , Dean of Executive Education and Professor of Communication in Politics and Civil Society