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International Conference about Creating a Well-Functioning Society

News: May 04, 2017

Recent studies have shown that it takes more than just positive democratic development to make people satisfied. Living in a safe environment, receiving a quality education and adequate healthcare, as well as having access to functioning social institutions that are free of corruption are also considered important factors. An international conference will take place on May 10 at the University of Gothenburg, bringing together leading researchers and decision makers in order to discuss global challenges that our society faces.

In some parts of the world, democracy is on the decline, as demonstrated by recent statistics from the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg. According to the most recent Annual Report 2017 from the V-Dem Institute (to be released at the conference), the United States has fallen from one of the top positions to 18th place, in Hungary and Poland democratic development has reversed, Turkey is now undoubtedly a dictatorship.

“Turkey has changed from democracy to dictatorship in five years. It is appalling that both the Swedish and international media continue to discuss the ‘threat to democracy’ in Turkey when democracy died out there two or three years ago. It is also very unfortunate that one of the world's most populated and developed countries with a majority Muslim population has turned away from democracy and respect for human rights," said Staffan I. Lindberg, professor of political science and leader of V-Dem.

The Quality of Governance is Equally Important
At the Quality of Government Institute (QoG) at the University of Gothenburg, recent research has shown that societies do not automatically become better because they are democratic. Research conducted at the QoG Institute focuses on the importance of reliable, impartial, non-corrupt, non-discriminatory and well-functioning public institutions, i.e. the quality of governance. Quality impacts human welfare just as much as democracy.

A Comprehensive Approach
The conference on May 10 takes an overarching view on the factors that contribute to a well-functioning society.

"We are going to get together and discuss the state of democracy and the quality of social governance, as well as explain why some societies can offer people safe environments, a quality education, adequate medical care and other things that promote human development, while others cannot," says Staffan I. Lindberg.

Conference with Prominent Speakers
The conference will include the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Annika Söder, who will talk about democracy in the world, World Bank's leading analyst, Marco Larizza, who will present the latest information from the World Development Report 2017, and Richard Youngs from the Carnegie Foundation, who will also discuss the global state of democracy. During the day, several parallel workshops will focus on different aspects of democracy, governance and armed conflicts.

Policy Dialogue Day 2017 - From Knowledge to Action: Current Insights on Democracy, Governance and Armed Conflicts will take place on May 10th from 10-17 at the Wallenberg Conference Centre, Medicinaregatan 20 A, Gothenburg. Media are welcome to attend. Reply to: natalia.stepanova@gu.se.

The whole program can be found here: http://pol.gu.se/aktuellt/Kalendarium/Aktuellt_detalj/?eventId=70124393687

For more information
Natalia Stepanova, Operations & Outreach Manager at the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute, Phone: 031-786 3043, E-mail: natalia.stepanova@gu.se.

V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy): A unique international collaboration including some 3,000 experts, headquartered in Sweden, now provides the most comprehensive evidence on democracy with some 18 million data over 350 indicators, https://www.v-dem.net/en/.

The QoG Institute (Quality of Government): studying how we can create and maintain public institutions of high quality and how the impact of social governance quality affects different policy areas, http://qog.pol.gu.se/.

GLD (Governance and Local Development): aims to explain variations in governance and local development in an effort to promote human welfare globally, http://gld.gu.se/.

UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Program): one of the most accurate and most widely used databases in the area of organized violence, http://ucdp.uu.se.


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