How to deal with autocrats was the leading question of the public panel discussion on Thursday night. After a quick introduction in recent developments of spreading autocracies throughout the world and the strengthening of mostly right-wing populist and extremist movements and parties within democracies by Oliver Schlumberger, the moderater Raphael Rauch discussed with the panelists their perception and evaluation of these developments.
He discussed with Alice Thomas, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Chief of ODIHR Legislative Support Unit; Steven Heydemann, Smith College / United States Institute of Peace, Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution. Steffen Kailitz, Hannah Arendt Institut für Totalitarismusforschung / Technische Unviersität Dresden, and Andreas Schedler, CIDE Mexico City.
One of the basic assumtions was that even though there are internal and external autocrats on cannot argue with and talk with, Democracies, Democrats and international institutions should engage in both, communication and putting forward the values of democracy.