- June 05, 2023
- June 05, 2023
Beneath the weight of war and geopolitical instability, challenges directly threatening western democracies have the tendency to appear less pressing. Nonetheless, western nations face current threats to the robustness and integrity of their democratic institutions. Looking at lessons from the past can often reveal reflections that can be drawn to current issues. As prominent topics in public discourse, misinformation, polarization, increasing wealth inequality, and the rise of right-wing extremist movements in Europe and the United States reveal stark parallels to crises from the past.
On June 5, 2023, Aspen Germany hosted the event “Democracy in Danger” as part of the Global Threats Series, with Benjamin Carter Hett. As a historian and prolifically published expert on pre- and post-war Germany, Hett joined us to discuss how the rise of Nazi Germany and the Second World War, as the result of an underlying crisis of democracy, is strikingly relevant to similar threats facing Germany and the United States today.
What are the main challenges facing western democracies in the current political climate, and what parallels can be drawn from the past that might help address these issues? What are the warning signs of democratic backsliding, and how might they differ in Germany and the United States? What can individuals, communities, and civil society organizations do to strengthen democratic institutions and safeguard democracy? To discuss these and other questions, Benjamin Hett centered in a discussion moderated by Aspen Germany Director Dr. Stormy-Annika Mildner.