A powerful autocratic wave is sweeping the globe. According to Freedom House, the world is facing its seventeenth consecutive year of democratic decline. Can these trends be reversed? What will it take to foster a new democratic wave? As grassroots pro-democracy movements contend in places like Iran, Venezuela, and Belarus, how can democratic countries more effectively support them?

Please join the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security on Tuesday, March 28, at 9:00 am ET for the launch of a new publication, produced with the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, titled Fostering a Fourth Democratic Wave: A Playbook for Countering the Authoritarian Threat

Fostering a Fourth Democratic Wave builds on a growing body of research showing that nonviolent civil resistance movements—using tactics such as strikes, boycotts, mass demonstrations, and acts of noncooperation—are one of the most powerful drivers of democracy and human rights around the world.

Accordingly, the playbook outlines three pillars of strategy for democratic governments to better support and enable these movements internationally by:

  • Proposing new approaches and tools to support civil resistance movements
  • Advancing a new international norm — the “Right to Assist” pro-democracy movements
  • Developing strategic and tactical options to constrain authoritarian regimes and drive up the cost of their repression

This publication comes ahead of the Biden administration’s Summit for Democracy, as activists, experts, and policymakers from around the world seek innovative tools and tactics to defend democracy and defeat authoritarianism. 

This launch event and panel discussion are open to the public and press, and will take place in-person at the Atlantic Council, over Zoom, and via livestream. 

Moderated by

Laura Kelly
Foreign Policy Reporter
The Hill


Freddy Guevara
Fellow Researcher, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Harvard University;
Former Vice President of the Venezuelan Parliament; Former political prisoner

Hardy Merriman
International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

Lisbeth Pilegaard
Member of the Board and Chair, Executive Committee
European Endowment for Democracy (EED);
Executive Director
Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD)

Daniel Twining
International Republican Institute (IRI)

The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world.