Ciudad de México, México In-Person | Streaming Online

Are Elected Presidents Bad for Democracy?

Are Elected Presidents Bad for Democracy? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Courtesy of AP Newsroom.

Presented in partnership with Democracy International and Metropolitan Autonomous University for the Global Forum for Modern Direct Democracy 2023

In Mexico, the United States, and other nations, presidential elections have long been described as the essence of democracy. And elected presidents are lauded as unifying figures who represent all citizens, ensuring that a country’s popular will is not thwarted by special interests and locally elected lawmakers. But, from Caracas to Ankara to Washington, recent presidents have abused their considerable powers in ways that threaten democracy, or, as in Managua and Moscow, destroy it all together. Do the well-documented democratic problems of presidencies reflect the failures of particular leaders? Or are presidential systems simply too risky for democracy? And what models of executive power are most likely to protect democracy, or make nations and cities more democratic?

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile political scientist David Altman, Asia Democracy Chronicles editor-in-chief Tess Bacalla, Tunisian feminist activist Asrar Ben Jouira, and Democracy International’s European program manager Daniela Vancic visit Zócalo to examine the promise and peril of the world’s presidencies.

With introductions by former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Zócalo executive director Moira Shourie.

Zócalo invites our in-person audience to a pre-event reception with complimentary drinks and small bites, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm CT.

Casa de la Primera Imprenta de América
no.10 Lic. Primo Verdad
Ciudad de México 06010