With Consecutive Panels, Center for Politics Puts Focus on Global Democracy

With Consecutive Panels,

Center for Politics Puts Focus on Global Democracy


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Sept. 9 — a day after the UVA Center for Politics and Virginia Public Media (VPM) begins airing their Dismantling Democracy documentary series in Central Virginia — the Center will host two panels. During the discussions, a broad roster of expert panelists will reinforce themes highlighted in the series.

At 2 p.m., UVA Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato will moderate a discussion exploring freedom around the world. VPM President and CEO Jayme Swain will kick off the panel, and speakers will include:

Steve Levitsky, Professor of Government at Harvard. His specialties include political parties, institutions, authoritarianism, and democratization. He co-authored the 2018 book How Democracies Die.

Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, chair for the Global Politics and Security Concentration in Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program and a professor in the Practice of International Affairs in MSFS. She also served for 10 years in the United States Department of State, working on democracy promotion, human rights, human trafficking, religious freedom, refugees, and counterterrorism.

Christopher Sabatini, Senior Research Fellow for Latin America, US and the Americas Programme, Oxford University. Sabatini is Senior Fellow for Latin America at Chatham House, and a lecturer in discipline in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where he has taught since 2008.

At 3:30 p.m., the Center will continue its international emphasis by welcoming the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy C. Shea. Shea assumed her current role in February 2020, and her perspective is informed by nearly three decades of experience in the U.S. Foreign Service. Ambassador Shea will participate in a question and answer session conducted by Stephen J. Mull, UVA’s Vice Provost for Global Affairs.

Last month, the Lebanese capital, Beirut, was tragically rocked by a devastating explosion. After Shea’s comments, UVA Center for Politics Director of Global Initiatives Daman Irby will moderate a panel of three speakers who were in Beirut at the time of the explosion. Michel Daccache, Yasmine Masri, and Mike Safadi are alumni of the U.S. Department of State’s Leaders for Democracy Fellowship hosted by the Center for Politics in 2016 and 2017 and will share their experiences.

This event is part of the Center’s Ambassador Series and will be in partnership with the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs.

The public is invited to join both events online for free. Registration for both the Dismantling Democracy and Lebanon at a Crossroads discussions is free and open to the public.