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This year, the conference will be held at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy/University of Erfurt from the 10th to 11th of November 2017.

The conference was organized in close collaboration with Prof. Richter, and is co-financed by the Leibniz-funded Research Network External Democracy Promotion. The Studierendenrat of the University of Erfurt and the fellows & friends program also provided generous support.

The Topic:

By the end of the 20th century, Europe reached a level of relative stability after decades of conflict and division. A key element that sustained this political stability was the spread and strengthening of liberal democracy across the continent. Representative governments, separation of powers, multi-party systems, free and open elections and equal protection of civil rights, human rights, and political freedoms are a few of the components that have defined and maintained these liberal democracies.

Recently, however, Europe has seen a growing number of threats to its liberal democratic character. The rise of populism and anti-establishment leaders, increased threats of terrorism, heightened sophistication of online radicalization, and the proliferation of fake news through social media jeopardize these political structures across the continent.

Bridging Gaps 2017 aims to confront each of these threats head on. Current and future policy makers can exchange ideas among like-minded peers.