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January 7, 2021 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Since the end of WWII, the share of democracies among the world’s governments has been growing. Today, nearly half of all governments can be classified as some form of democracy. However, the past several years has brought concern for the future of democracy. Individual freedoms, economic inequality, and out-of-touch elites fuel much of these concerns as many people around the world are dissatisfied with how their respective democracies are functioning. Political freedom and human rights advocacy organizations like Freedom House have concluded that, while global democratic gains have not been completely reversed, democracy is in retreat. From long-standing democracies to authoritarian regimes, there is a decline in freedom globally.

Justin Collier will discuss this topic in his lecture entitled ‘Freedom Under Siege: The global retreat of democracy.’ Justin Collier is a PhD candidate from the Political Science and International Relations Department in the University of Delaware. His research interests include public diplomacy, nationalism, national identity, and ethnic conflict.

Program Description

Did you know that in Norway non-citizens can vote after living in the country for three years? Or that in Switzerland all eligible voters are sent mail in ballots, which can be returned by the mail or dropped off at the polls? In a 2016 survey on global literacy conducted by National Geographic, only 14-29% of the general population could answer the survey questions correctly. When 1,203 recent college graduates were surveyed, the total percent of correct responses was just 55%. Citizens in the United States need to become more aware of the world around us and to perhaps look outward for some solutions to our internal issues. “Why it Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” is a national initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and aims to “explore civic participation as it relates to electoral engagement in a multivocal democracy”. The Delaware Humanities project seeks specifically to examine and elucidate systems in the United States by putting our democracy into a global context.   We will be hosting two lectures, two panel discussions, and five book discussions throughout the state, all running from January-April 2021.  Check back or join our mailing list for more information in the near future. Book Discussions Delaware Librarians! Would you like to host a book discussion of How to Rig an Election by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas? Delaware Humanities will supply 20 books and a facilitator to four libraries in the state to host a discussion. Discussions must take place between January and April 2021. Libraries will be responsible for:
  • Advertising
  • Attracting a group of 15-20 individuals
  • Distributing the books for free to the 20 individuals
  • Coordinating a date and time for the virtual discussion with the facilitator
  • Sending Delaware Humanities the date, time, and registration information for the discussion
  • Gathering completed program evaluations from attendees
If interested, email Ciera Fisher at