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Loughborough partners with The New York Times for international democracy forum

Loughborough University is joining forces with The New York Times to be the official knowledge partner for the 2017 Athens Democracy Forum.

This global event will bring together leading policy makers, business leaders, scholars and other experts to discuss and debate democracy and its importance in an increasingly chaotic world.

Taking place in September, speakers will include the former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kofi Annan, North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee and Unesco Director General Irina Bokova.

The University’s Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC) is co-organising the Central Eastern European Symposium at the forum with the Open Society Foundations and the Sekyra Group. The Symposium is a special side-event devoted to rising authoritarianism and populism, as well as rapidly deteriorating levels of media freedom and journalistic autonomy, in this part of Europe.

Located within the historic Zappeion venue in Athens, the Symposium will bring together internationally renowned intellectuals and media professionals to debate these troubling tendencies and the challenges they represent for the future of democracy in the region.

John Downey, Director of the CRCC, said: “We are honoured and absolutely thrilled to be part of this very timely and highly prestigious event.

“As we are witnessing the growing appeal of right-wing populism and anti-liberal forms of governance across the world, it is particularly important to pay attention to the impact of these trends for post-transition countries whose fragile democratic institutions, including the media, are most likely to be at risk.

“The participation of CRCC in the Athens Democracy Forum highlights both the recognition of our Centre as world-leading for communication and media research, and our determination to make a contribution to crucial public debates during a period of profound political turbulence.”

The CRCC was established in 1991 to focus on interdisciplinary research which crosses over social science and humanities disciplines to draw on theories and methods in social psychology, sociology, politics, history and geography.

It is now the largest research centre of its kind in the UK, renowned for the breadth of its world-leading research with partners that include the BBC, police, the NSPCC and the Electoral Commission. Recent high profile studies include the team analysis of media coverage during the 2017 General Election campaign.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 17/88

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world to study sports-related subjects in the 2017 QS World University Rankings and top in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough was ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Table 2018 and 10th in The UK Complete University Guide 2018 and was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017. It has been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, which recognises institutions that deliver consistently outstanding teaching that is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

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