News and Analysis

Fernando Lopez-Alvez publishes: The Undemocratic Future of 21st Century Liberal Democracy

Our director, Fernando Lopez-Alvez, has recently published an article called The Undemocratic Future of 21st Century Liberal Democracy. This piece has been published at our partner Academicus International Scientific Journal.

Abstract:

What is the future of liberal democracy? Is the “liberal” ingredient of 21st century democracy compatible with its “demos”? Are developed democracies more equalitarian and less stratified than other regimes? Or are present day democracies evolving into something different that needs a new definition? By the early 1990s liberal democracy appeared to have become the dominant system at a global scale. The hope of citizens, scholars, and observers was that the stride toward broader democratization and inclusion would continue. It did, but as this paper argues, the forms adopted by democratic regimes, especially under the fourth industrial revolution, are not necessarily democratic. Rather, liberal democracies have created a new aristocracy that includes high tech monopolies, extremely skilled professionals, and a selected intelligentsia that from social media, conglomerates, and many times Hollywood, supports this new stratified version of the democratic polity. Family dynasties, clientele networks, and mechanisms of reward and punishment reminds us of the pseudo democracies of the late 19th century. Surely the dwindling middle class in developed democracies still have some consumer power based on credit. Global markets offer many more available consumer goods than in the past, creating the illusion that all is going well. Comparatively, however, democracies are doing worse. As this paper shows, 21st century liberal democracies have concentrated wealth in fewer hands than in the recent past, have favored power centralization especially in the executive branch, have stimulated the formation of giant high-tech monopolies, and have generated more rigid forms of social stratification. Liberal democracies, therefore, are weaking, in many cases as the logical consequence of the natural evolution of the liberal doctrine, and in most cases because of profound changes at the global scale. Citizens’ confidence in their elected representatives has been in the decline for a long time. The increasing influence of populist nationalism is an indicator that confidence in traditional politicians continues to deteriorate. Democracy could not be democratic without the popular vote, but it has been precisely the popular vote that has empowered populist nationalist leaders, both from the right and the left. There is not very much that democracies can do about the coming to power via the ballot box of leaders who can rework the system in their favor and, in some cases, destroy it. As the paper shows, changes in the international system of power have not been favorable to liberal democracies, adding to its burdens. They are no longer the optimal model of choice, especially in the less developed world. Finally, I claim that the broken promises of political elites that have traditionally provoked voters’ apathy and loss of trust, have, In the 21st century, created new unintended consequences. They have generated illusions of entitlement and deservingness that, especially young voters, have converted into a sort anti-democratic culture that cares less for the collective and much more for themselves.


Keywords:
liberal democracy; globalization; United States; China; Fourth Industrial Revolution; populist nationalism

Full text available in PDF: Academicus-MMXXI-24-039-059.pdf

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): http://dx.medra.org/10.7336/academicus.2021.24.03

How to make money. The art of starting and leading a business

George Benaroya, a CFO with a career at Procter & Gamble, Tetra Pak, Nivea, and now Private Equity who lectures at NYU and University of Salamanca, will show participants How to Create and Lead a business or Non-for-Profit. The material is a selection from his Finance for Marketing class at NYU (New York University) and his classes at the University of Salamanca. The event, free to everyone, is managed by Learn with Leaders, an organization created to democratize education. 

To register go here: https://nyu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_XFhNf-VpTTCqApC75vdnCA

Rebuilding the Department of State in the Biden Administration

This event will take place on February 24th at 19:30 CET over zoom as a special lecture for our Master’s students.

This event had been organised together with our partners from EsGlobal and will feature Ambassador Mark L. Asquino (ret.) as main presenter. The event will also have comments by our director Fernando Lopez-Alves and Cristina Manzano who is part of the executive committee of our Think Tank and director of EsGlobal.

The event will focus on the consequences of the weakening of the State Department during the Trump administration, and consider the new Biden administration’s plans to rebuild the State.

Event on nuevos actores y sostenibilidad en las universidades

The event on new actors and sustainability in universities will be held tomorrow 20th of January at 17h Madrid. Should you be interested in attending please sign up here.

The event is organised by Francisco Rodriguez-Jimenez, member of our Think Tank, together with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the Centro de Investigaciones sobre América del Norte, the University of Salamanca and the Universidad de Extremadura, in cooperation with the Observatorio de la Relación Binacional México-EE.UU.

Guest lecture with the head of strategic finance at Roche

Maik Rutschmann, Head of Strategic Finance at Roche, is joining one of our lectures as a guest speaker. As Head of Strategic Finance at Roche, Mr. Rutschmann plays a major role in making critical decisions at Roche, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. The revenue of Roche exceeds $65 Billion, and its market capitalization is $294 Billion. 

Very seldom one has a chance to meet such senior executives. At large companies like Roche, it could be the case that you work your entire life there and don’t have such a chance. The lecture has a fireside chat format, where the speaker will respond to the questions received in advance from the audience.

The lecture will take place on January 19th at 12pm New York Time/ 18:00 Central European time.

To register please go to the following link.

More information on the programe, here.