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Czech Scholar Addresses the Challenges Facing Democracy

Prague, Czech Republic – “The Twilight of Democracy” was the theme of a lecture by Dr. Roman Joch, executive director of the Civic Institute in Prague, given at the Peace Embassy on October 25, 2023. It was the first in a series of three lectures on democracy organized by UPF to highlight the main pillars of a democratic system, as well as its limitations and challenges.

Dr. Joch emphasized the importance of democracy as a political system that brought freedom, a free market and diversity of opinion to the people. However, he also drew attention to the many problems and limitations of democracy today.

He began by recalling the origins of democracy, with reference to ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato, who pondered the various forms of democracy and its risks.

Although democracy has historically been considered one of the best possible forms of government, Dr. Joch pointed out that today it faces a number of challenges. However, he stressed that democracy has strong qualities and advantages, and that democratic countries should look for ways to strengthen it and adapt it to the current challenges, rather than abandoning a democratic system. Overall, he highlighted the importance of democracy, but also the need for it to be constantly improved to effectively address current political and societal challenges.

Dr. Joch is a former adviser to the prime minister of the Czech Republic on human rights and foreign policy. Currently, in addition to his role at the Civic Institute, he is an assistant professor at the University of Economics in Prague. He is the author of several books and essays on political philosophy and public policy, as well as a frequent contributor to Czech and foreign media.

By  Juraj Lajda, President, UPF-Czech Republic October 25, 2023


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