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America's Travails with Democracy and the Rule of Law as a Mirror of Global Retreat

May 2 2018

Handa Center Inaugural Lecture on Rule of Law with Thomas Carothers

Whatever political exceptionalism the United States once enjoyed is clearly waning quickly. the many troubling features of democracy and the rule of law in the United States today--from polarization, governance paralysis, and corruption, to elite capture, populism, and rising intolerance and disinformation in public discourse--are common conditions in many other democracies as well. How deep in fact is this apparent alignment? In what ways are America's democratic and legal challenges on and the same with those of struggling democracies in other regions and in what ways are they unique? In which direction does the causal arrow between the United States and the world primarily run?

Thomas Carothers is senior vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowmen for International Peace, where he oversees all of the research programs and directs the Democracy and Rule of Law Program. He has worked on democracy assistance projects for mahy organizations and carried out extensive feild research on aid efforts around the world. Carothers is the author of six critically acclaimed books and many articles in prominent journals and newspapers. He is a distinguished visiting professor and the Central European University in Budapest and was previously a visiting faculty member at Nuffield College, Oxford University, and Johns Hopkins SAIS. Prior to joining the Endowment, Carothers practiced international and financial law at Arnold & Porter and served as an attorny adviser in the office of the legal adviser of the U.S. Department of State.

This lecture is made possible through the generous support of Desierto & Desierto Law, Ortigas Centre, Metro Manila, Philippines. Support for the lecture is made in honor of former constitutional Ombudsman of the Republic of the Philippines Hon. Aniano A. Desierto, whose defense of the rule of law spanned 40 years in public service as the country's foremost prosecutor.