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.