Worldwide, crises are engulfing the older, more established democracies as well as their newer, more vulnerable, counterparts. Populism is on the rise. Authoritarianism is promoted as a viable alternative to democracy. ‘Experts’ are no longer trusted. Fracturing societies are grappling to deal with the divisive challenges of militant nationalism, religious extremism and xenophobia. Basic civic institutions and fundamental human rights are under threat. Urgent Issues associated with climate change are exacerbating instability. Technological advancements and changes to the media landscape bring their own dangers. The Covid-19 pandemic has created new challenges while amplifying and further aggravating these long-term issues.
At Trinity College Dublin, the Trinity Long Room Hub crises of democracy initiative is a collaborative and interdisciplinary undertaking. Driven by the Arts and Humanities, the crises of democracy initiative provides the nuanced and long-term perspectives overlooked by the short-term approach characteristic of current debate. By analysing the development of the system of liberal democracy and examining the roots of the current crises, it provides the knowledge vital to creating effective responses today. Engaging with the creative arts and culture, it also explores means of positive resistance.
The Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute is part of an international consortium of humanities scholars spanning four continents, with partners from the universities Ambedkar, Białystok, Columbia, Freiburg, Jawaharlal Nehru, NYUAD, São Paolo, Tartu, Utrecht, Virginia and the Western Cape. The Trinity Long Room Hub is also working with civil society, media, and policy practitioners, and seeking to interact with a wider general audience across this project.
CRISES OF DEMOCRACY PROJECTS
CHCI-Mellon Global Humanities Institute on the Crises of Democracy: an 18-month global humanities institute project funded by the Consortium of Humanities and Centres institutes and the A.W. Mellon Foundation which brought together 40 international arts and humanities researchers from different disciplines and career stages to examine crises of democracy through the lens of cultural trauma.
Rethinking Democracy in an Age of Pandemic: a six-part series which ran across April and May 2020 exploring the impact of the pandemic on democracies worldwide organised in partnership with the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.
Rethinking Democracy: a series of three audio podcasts between Dr Elspeth Payne, Beate Schuler Research Fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub, and a number of key panellists from the ‘Rethinking Democracy’ series organised in partnership with the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.
More information on the podcasts be found here.