a speaker lectures to an audience
Feb 17, 2023
Daily Inter Lake

FVCC Lecture Series Focuses on State of Global Democracies

Flathead Valley Community College's 2023 Honors Symposium lecture series features three nights of speakers addressing this year’s theme, “Global Democracies at a Crossroads.”

The series begins Feb. 27.

In an increasingly globalized world, nations are often interdependent and foreign policy is important to local and global welfare. Geopolitical concerns, the fate of global democracies, and economic crises feature prominently in daily lives. International trade, global diplomacy and multilateral relations are far-reaching and impact Montanans locally, the college notes.

To assist in understanding these connections and how they evolve, FVCC has invited distinguished experts to share their research and insights on the state of global democratic institutions and processes in 2023.

The series begins on Monday, Feb. 27 with The Changing Multilateral Order and the Future of Democracy presented by Susanne Mueller-Redwood, assistant professor of Political Science at Montana State University in Bozeman.

The past decade has seen increasing challenges to democratic governance around the world. The international community has watched the repression of pro-democracy protests in Iran, democratic backsliding in central Europe, and a host of military coups in countries such as Myanmar and Sudan. In addition, an authoritarian nuclear power, Russia, attacked a sovereign democratic state, Ukraine. These developments, according to a release, raise important questions about the future of democratic governance around the world and the role that the international community should play in protecting democracy.

Then on Monday, March 13 the series continues with the Challenges in a Changing Europe: War, Energy, Climate, Inflation and Growth in the European Union as presented by Craig Parsons, professor of political science at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

The countries of the European Union are beset by tremendous policy challenges: a major war on their borders, sudden scarcity of energy, climate change, high inflation, and slow growth in much of the continent. The talk is expected to look at whether this time of trial will prove too much for Europe, accelerating its relative decline on the world stage, or will it provoke responses that create a stronger and more cohesive European Union. Parsons analyzes these overlapping crises, the hopes for European answers to them, and the implications for global politics in the 21st century.

Finally, on Monday, March 20 the series continues with War, War and Democracy: Are history’s lessons Ukraine’s future? The talk is presented by Elizabeth Kier, professor of political science at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The talk will examine what is the historical link between war and democracy. Historians and political scientists usually take for granted that the one goes with the other: the sacrifices in war lead to democratic reforms after a war. Examples include female suffrage after World War I or the advancement of civil rights after World War II. While it’s unknown what is in store for Ukraine’s democracy, in part because so much depends on how that war ends, the talk will consider more generally how war affects democracy, and what that suggests about Ukraine’s democratic future.

Free and open to the public, all lectures begin at 7 p.m. in the large community room in FVCC’s Arts and Technology building.

The 2023 Honors Symposium is funded in part by the Theodore Chase Endowment Fund. For more information, call 406-756-3889 or search keyword “honors” at