Global Conference 2011
Are Democratic Governments Up to Meeting 21st-Century Challenges?
Monday, May 2, 2011 / 5:15 pm - 6:15 pm
It's been said that democracy is messy - but today it seems downright cumbersome, too. The United States seems stuck in neutral on pressing issues such as ending our addiction to foreign oil, rebuilding our infrastructure or transforming our schools. Meantime, China is building vast new projects and implementing policy shifts seemingly overnight. But its speed and decisiveness often come at the expense of individual rights and the environment, and its state-run system has monumental challenges to overcome. India, the world's most populous democracy, has economic potential to match China's. But can its government pull off the massive infrastructure improvements and bureaucratic reforms needed to maintain growth? Can European democracies deal with the increasing costs of their more robust socialist safety net? Which approach will carry the day? Which nations have models and results worth examining? Can participatory democracy respond quickly enough to a world where change moves at lightning speed?