During its last half-annual board meeting, in October 2014 in Nijmegen, the IAPSS Executive Committee decided that the IAPSS Annual Theme for 2016 will be “Challenging Democracy”.
The theme will be applied and act as thematic academic framework for all IAPSS events (the IAPSS World Congress 2016, the IAPSS Autumn Convention 2016, the IAPSS Summer & IAPSS Winter School 2016 as well as the IAPSS Study Trips) and all IAPSS publications (Encuentro Latino Americano, POLITIKON, ADV, the IAPSS Academic Think Tank) – each to a different extent.
On The Theme
Democracy is a type of government that has been with us for more than two millennia. Only in the last century, however, it spread over all continents and became the standard against which all governments in the world are measured. What is this standard, however? Is liberal democracy really the model that fits all countries and nations? Should we be satisfied with the current status and stop trying to improve on it? Many political philosophers and social thinkers believe that there are better alternatives how to govern the society – that there are models bolstering more the economic development, more protective of the environment or better in utilizing the potential of human intellect.
Democracy is today challenged by its critics and by its own flaws. There is inequality in wealth distribution, conflicts over natural resources, or the rise of extremist movements. Can the critics of democracy be silenced and the flaws remedied?
On May 28, the first day of Occupy Gezi, Reuters photographer Osman Orsal captured a young woman being pepper-sprayed by a police officer. The protests marked the largest anti-government and pro-democracy upheaval in the younger Turkish history.