In Mistrust We Trust: Can Transparency Revive Democracy?

November 14, 2012
03:00 pm - 03:30 am

Ivan Krastev, In Mistrust We Trust: Can Transparency Revive Democracy? from National Endowment for Democracy on Vimeo.


Ivan Krastev
Chairman, Center for Liberal Democratic Studies (Bulgaria)
Bosch Public Policy Fellow, Transatlantic Academy

moderated by

Marc F. Plattner
International Forum for Democratic Studies

About the Event

Despite the hope and excitement that has accompanied the recent transitions in places such as the Middle East and Burma, there is a growing sense of crisis in Western democracies. Although our societies are freer and more democratic than ever, trust in democratic institutions is in decline. While the rights of citizens in the West are better protected than ever, there is a growing feeling, particularly in Europe, that voters are losing their power. The movement for greater transparency has been one response aimed at addressing this crisis of confidence.

In his presentation, Ivan Krastev examined whether the movement for more transparency can succeed in empowering voters and restoring the public’s trust in democratic institutions. He argued that while transparency has an important role to play in reforming democracies, the current hope that transparency can cure all democratic ills is misplaced.

About the Speaker

Ivan Krastev is the chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria, a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and a founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. He is currently a Bosch Public Policy Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, D.C. He has been executive director of the International Commission on the Balkans and editor-in-chief of the Bulgarian edition of Foreign Policy. He is a member of the editorial board and frequent contributor to the Journal of Democracy and also serves on the International Forum for Democratic Studies’ Research Council. In 2010, he delivered the seventh annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World in Washington, D.C., and Toronto, Canada. His books include: Shifting Obsessions: Three Essays on Politics of Anti-Corruption (2004) and The Anti-American Century (2006).