Executive Training Seminar: "Protecting Liberal Democracy in Illiberal Times: Policy Experiences from Europe, Latin America and Africa"

15-17 November 2017

In November 2017, Tom Gerald Daly, Co-Convenor of the Constitution Transformation Network, attended an Executive Training Seminar at the European University Institute’s School of Transnational Governance in Florence. The aim of the seminar was to provide an in-depth analysis on how regional organizations across the globe respond to the challenges posed by authoritarian governments and illiberal democracies in their member states. Specifically, organizations such as the European Union, the Organization of American States, and the African Union are increasingly challenged by the rise of populist political discourses and the coexistence of a variety of authoritarianisms and defective democracies in their regions of influence.

The seminar provided a means for participants to acquire first-hand knowledge of the substantive content of the different mechanisms for the protection of democracy in regional organizations in Europe, America and Africa. Participants also received practical training on the internal functioning of these organisations and the policy effects of their application by examining concrete case studies.

Throughout the training seminar, participants had the opportunity to network with a set of top officials and experts from regional and international organisations, such as the African Union and Organization of American States, as well as with senior practitioners from NGOs and like-minded colleagues from all over the world.

Tom attended the seminar to gather information and insights for his current research project on the global phenomenon of democratic decay (i.e. the incremental degradation of democratic governance, falling short of full breakdown). The seminar informed his final column for I-CONnect (the International Journal of Constitutional Law blog) as an invited columnist for 2017, published on 16 November 2017: ‘Can International Organisations Help to Stem Democratic Decay?’