Crises. Opportunities. Freedoms.

Explore the challenges confronting modern democracies on September 24-25, 2021


Around the world, individuals of all ages and perspectives are questioning democracy both in principle and in practice. Democratic systems face unprecedented challenges that make it imperative that we take a fresh look—reflecting on principles and history, comparing aspirations and reality, investigating why democracy is falling out of favor, and asking what must be done if democracy is to work for everyone.

Democracy biennial logoThis critical exploration begins with the inaugural UVA Democracy Biennial: Crises, Opportunities, Freedoms, an innovative one-and-a-half day, free-of-charge event featuring three distinct, high-level conversations. 

The Biennial begins on Friday afternoon, September 24, at 3:00 p.m. ET, with a look at democracy and capitalism. The following day, Saturday September 25, consists of sessions on mobility and equity and the future of American democracy, beginning at 1:00 p.m.


Karsh institute of democracy logo

The UVA Democracy Biennial is a production of the University's new Karsh Institute of Democracy, an ambitious effort to build on UVA’s existing expertise in the study of democracy, public policy and leadership, and its history as a public institution founded to prepare citizens to serve a fledgling democracy.

The goal for the Biennial is straightforward and ambitious: to inspire citizens, scholars, policymakers, journalists, activists, and students to think beyond current conversations and imagine practical solutions to the most pressing challenges facing democracies across the globe. 

The University's Democracy Initiative and the Miller Center—both part of the new Institute—are taking the lead on programming.

We hope you will join us.