Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order

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Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order

Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order

Ted Piccone, Senior Fellow, Project on International Order and Strategy, Latin America Initiative in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings Institute

Location:  The Forum, Santa Fe University of Art & Design, 1600 St. Michael’s Drive

Cost: $15 CIR Members and $20 Nonmembers & Guests

The spread of democracy and human rights over the last three decades has dramatically changed the international landscape. In 1989, just over 2 billion people lived in one of the 69 countries considered an electoral democracy. Today, those numbers have almost doubled, with more than 4 billion people living in one of the world’s 125 democracies. Political reforms in places like the Philippines, Chile, Poland, South Korea, and Mexico have captured the world’s attention and inspired renewed hope for an international liberal order founded on democracy, peace and development.

More recently, however, shifting power balances are shaking the foundations of the international liberal order and disrupting movements toward democracy and human rights. Established democracies are falling victim to apathy, polarization, and rising nationalism, while others are either at a plateau or backsliding on their path to liberal democracy. International cooperation to protect and expand the hard-won gains of the post-Cold War years is faltering as China, Russia and other authoritarian states defend their illiberal paths to development.

In his new book, Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order, Brookings Senior Fellow Ted Piccone examines how five pivotal countries—India, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, and Indonesia—can play a critical role as both examples and supporters of liberal ideas and practices.

Ted Piccone is a senior fellow in the  Project on International Order and Strategy and Latin America Initiative in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. His research is focused on global democracy and human rights policies; U.S.-Latin American relations, including Cuba; emerging powers; and multilateral affairs. Previously, he served as the acting vice president and director from 2013 to 2014 and deputy director from 2008 to 2013 of the Foreign Policy program.

Piccone served eight years as a senior foreign policy advisor in the Clinton administration, including on the National Security Council staff, at the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning and the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. From 2001 to 2008, Piccone was the executive director and co-founder of the Democracy Coalition Project, a research and advocacy organization working to promote international cooperation for democracy and human rights globally. He was also the Washington office director for the Club of Madrid, an association of over 70 former heads of state and government engaged in efforts to strengthen democracy around the world, and continues as an advisor. Piccone served as counsel for the United Nations Truth Commission in El Salvador from 1992 to 1993, and as press secretary to U.S. Representative Bob Edgar from 1985 to 1987.

Piccone has authored or edited multiple volumes and articles on foreign policy, Latin America and human rights. His book, “Catalysts for Change: How the UN’s Independent Experts Promote Human Rights” (Brookings Institution Press, 2012), analyzes the effectiveness of this system at the national level and recommends ways to strengthen it. His research currently focuses on the evolving role of five rising democracies in the global democracy and human rights order.

Piccone received a law degree from Columbia University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, and a bachelor’s in history magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

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