Reshape Europe
The Challenges of Liberal Democracy Today - The Athens Conference

Defending Freedom: A Vibrant Dialogue on Liberal Democracy
General Reshape
© Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Greece & Cyprus

In an intellectually stimulating and productive event, Athens hosted "The Challenges of Liberal Democracy Today," an academic conference organized jointly by the Center for Liberal Studies, the Greece and Cyprus Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Panteion University's Center for Political Research, and the University of Athens Laboratory of Political and Institutional Theory and History of Ideas. Held at the National Research Foundation on December 4 and 5, 2023, this conference showcased a broad academic alliance for the pursuit of strengthening liberal democracy.

Uniting Minds, Sharing Visions

The conference brought together a diverse group of 40 scholars from Greece and abroad, including both established academics and promising young researchers. Over two days, they delved into a series of critical discussions across 12 panels. Topics ranged from the intricacies of liberal democracies' institutional structures to the impact of new technologies on democratic processes. The event was a part of the "Reshape Europe" campaign, focusing on Europe's resilience against threats to freedom and liberal democracy.

Key Discussions and Panels

Highlighting the event were key discussions led by prominent speakers. Alexander Skouras, President of the Center for Liberal Studies, Martin Kothé, Regional Director ESEE & Project Director for Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Greece, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, and Vassiliki Georgiadou, Professor at Panteion University and Director of the Center for Political Research, shared their insights and priorities in bolstering liberal democracy.

Another notable panel featured Dimitris Dimitrakos, Professor Emeritus of Political Philosophy at the University of Athens and Academic Board Member at the Center for Liberal Studies. He was joined by Pantelis Bassakos, Professor Emeritus at Panteion University, Giorgos Politis, Professor of Social Philosophy at the University of Athens, and Georgios Archontas, Head of Educational Programs at the Center for Liberal Studies, to discuss the role of political correctness in contemporary public dialogue.

Enriching Public Discourse and Fostering Collaborations

Participants lauded the conference's organization and its significant contribution to enhancing public dialogue on defending liberal democracy in Greece. The high-quality papers presented were not just intellectually stimulating but opened avenues for concrete actions to improve democratic institutions and address modern challenges. The event set the stage for future initiatives and fostered deeper collaboration among the presenting academics and organizing bodies.

Keynote Highlights and Future Directions

The conference featured a notable keynote address by Romanos Gerodimos, Professor of International Politics and Journalism at Bournemouth University. His insights on Liberal Democracy in the 21st Century illuminated the challenges of globalization and digitization. Following the event, plans for publishing the conference proceedings in an online collective volume were announced, ensuring wider access to these valuable discussions.

© Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Greece & Cyprus

Continuing the Journey Towards Stronger Democracy

The dialogue to strengthen liberal democracy will continue in various forums, leveraging the conference's outcomes to enrich arguments and strategies. The organizers are already charting new initiatives, many in collaboration with the conference's contributors, to fortify the pillars of liberal democracy and freedom in Greece and Europe.

A Beacon of Hope and Collaboration

The Athens Conference on Liberal Democracy was more than just a meeting of minds; it was a beacon of hope and collaboration, igniting a passion for defending freedom and democracy. It has set a high bar for future dialogues and actions, as we continue to champion the cause of liberal democracy and nurture the leaders of tomorrow.