What is the problem with democracies representing people’s interests? | A Debrief with Lea Ypi

The quest for freedom has long been the interest of political scholars and philosophers. Yet an 11-year-old girl in Albania began debating the issue with her parents while the streets of Tirana erupted with protests demanding freedom. That girl is Lea Ypi, a political theory professor at the London School of Economics and the author of the internationally acclaimed novel, “Free, coming of age at the end of Communism.”

Nonresident Senior Fellow Ilva Tare talks with Lea Ypi in this episode of #BalkansDebrief about the meaning of democracy and why some democracies backslide into autocracies. How did people in Eastern Europe deal with the challenges of representation and democracy in the 1990s?

What can history reveal about how post-communist countries dealt with the issue of memory? How can the recent rise of nationalism and populism in so-called established democracies be explained?


#BalkansDebrief is an online interview series presented by the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center and hosted by journalist Ilva Tare. The program offers a fresh look at the Western Balkans and examines the region’s people, culture, challenges, and opportunities.

Watch #BalkansDebrief on YouTube and listen to it as a Podcast.


The Europe Center promotes leadership, strategies and analysis to ensure a strong, ambitious and forward-looking transatlantic relationship.

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