Five Falling Stars: The Decline of Rule of Law and Democratic Multilateralism

Webinar | Thursday, July 16, 2020

Less than ten years ago, they were the democratic hopefuls of international liberal order: Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Turkey. They were economically striving, aimed at improving social inclusion and broadening participation in democratic governance. Many observers had hoped that – despite several shortcomings – they could be the new standard-bearers of multilateralism, promoting human rights, rule of law, and democracy worldwide and contribute to establishing a South-North partnership based on common norms and systems. 

Today, many of these expectations have been sobered by autocratization and foreign policy stances less inclined to cooperate internationally. Co-chaired by Ted Piccone, author of "Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of International Liberal Order," WJP and Bertelsmann Foundation will host a roundtable with experts from these countries to trace the commonalities and differences in political regression and nationalism, and consider the prospects for a positive turnaround and a revival of multilateralism.


  • Ted Piccone (Chair)
    Chief Engagement Officer, World Justice Project 
  • Seda Gürkan 
    Lecturer, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Department of Political Science
  • Joseph Chinyong Liow
    Tan Kah Kee Chair in Comparative and International Politics, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
  • Elizabeth Sidiropoulos
    Chief Executive, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
  • Oliver Della Costa Stuenkel
    Associate Professor of International Relations, Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV)
  • Constantino Xavier
    Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings India
  • Sabine Donner (Introduction)
    Senior Expert, Bertelsmann Transformation Index, Bertelsmann Stiftung
  • Anthony Silberfeld (Moderator)
    Director, Transatlantic Relations, Bertelsmann Foundation