Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum

Twilight of Democracy: The Failure of Politics and the Parting of Friends

Festival of Ideas Online/
Thu 30 July 2020
19:30-20:15
Crowdcast
Free Admission

Anne Applebaum

Twilight of Democracy: The Failure of Politics and the Parting of Friends

Anne Applebaum
Thu 30 July 2020,
19:30-20:15
Crowdcast
Free Admission

This is a Festival of Ideas Online event and will take place on our Crowdcast platform. It will also be live-streamed to Facebook. You can find out more about how this works in our blog.

Why did the wave of enthusiasm for liberal democracy, shared across the political spectrum in the 1980s and 90s, come to an end?  How did we come to be so divided?  Why did everyone get so angry?

Acclaimed historian of totalitarian regimes as well as a penetrating analyst of contemporary politics, Anne Applebaum (Twilight of Democracy: The Failure of Politics and the Parting of Friends), offers an original interpretation of democratic decline. She charts the rise of autocratic and paranoid governments in Poland and Hungary, the cultural despair that fuelled Brexit, the media cacophony that has driven some Spaniards to return to old nationalist slogans, and the apocalyptic pessimism that led many to support the election of Trump.

She examines the cynical use of conspiracy theory as well as the authentic desperation of those who believe that their nation is in danger of extinction; the role of social media in creating anger and anxiety, as well as the anger at a meritocratic system that, by definition, always left some people out; and the intellectual roots of what she calls the ‘seductions of autocracy’ and shows how, given the right conditions, any society can turn against democracy.

Political leaders and historical figures appear in the story, but Applebaum focusses above all on the dissatisfied intellectuals, philosophers, spin doctors and journalists who deliberately sought to create new definitions of “the nation,” new political realities, and sometimes deep new divisions. Many of them – in Poland, the US and the UK – were once Applebaum’s friends. She is in conversation with Festival of Ideas director Andrew Kelly.

This is part of our Future of Democracy series which is taking place all year and will culminate in a constitutional convention, currently scheduled for November 2020.

Thanks to Allen Lane for supporting this event.

Image of the front cover of the book Twilight of Democracy by Anne Applebaum

Twilight of Democracy: The Failure of Politics and the Parting of Friends is published by Allen Lane. Buy a copy from our bookseller partner Waterstones.

How to Book/

Booking a ticket for our Crowdcast event

Click the Book Ticket link to go to Crowdcast to register. Click the ‘Save my spot’ button to register. You will be prompted to enter your email address or social media login (Facebook, Twitter or Google). An email will be sent to confirm your registration, along with the option to add the event to your calendar.

Joining our Crowdcast event

Once you register you will have instant access to the event’s Crowdcast page, including the polls, chat, and Q&A. To return to the event page at any time, simply click the link in your confirmation or reminder email. The event will start automatically on its event page at the time advertised, and all you have to do is sit back and relax.

Participating in multiple events

Crowdcast allows you to use one login for all of your events. In your profile you can access all of your upcoming events. You can personalise your profile with a picture and brief bio.

Interacting at the event

Polls are located in a tab just below the video feed. Some events may add a poll prior to the event or during a live session, so be sure to check this area periodically.

Questions & Answers are also in a tab just below the video feed. This is where you can submit any questions or leave a comment on a question. Once the host has answered the question, you will be able to view it in the answered tab. You can also vote on questions that others have submitted if you would like to see them answered.

Chat is located on the right hand side of the video feed. This is a great place to say hello and introduce yourself before the event goes live. Chat lets you directly communicate with the host and other attendees before, during, and after an event.

Share this/

Related Events/