Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

The twilight of democracy

Date & time

Apr 4, 2022, 4:00-5:30 pm EDT


Michigan League Ballroom (and live-streamed)
911 N University Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Pulitzer Prize winning historian, journalist and commentator Anne Applebaum delivers the keynote lecture of the spring 2022 Democracy in Crisis series, in conversation with Ford School Dean Michael S. Barr.

Attendance requirements

All in-person attendees will be required to complete the ResponsiBlue screening before entering the building, and to adhere to the University of Michigan mask policy throughout the event. Registration is required to attend.

The event will also be livestreamed for those who choose not to attend in-person. The livestream will appear on this page the day of the event, registration optional.

From the speaker’s bio

Pulitzer Prize winning historian, journalist and commentator on geo-politics, Anne Applebaum examines the challenges and opportunities of global political and economic change through the lenses of world history and the contemporary political landscape. Informed by her expertise in Europe and her years of international reporting, Applebaum shares perspectives on, and the far-reaching implications of, today’s volatile world events. In July 2020, Penguin published Anne’s book ‘Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism’. Anne was later named one of “The Top 50 Thinkers of the Covid-19 Age” by Prospect magazine. She is a Senior Fellow of International Affairs and Agora Fellow in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. For many years, Applebaum wrote a biweekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post which is syndicated internationally. She is now a staff writer at The Atlantic.

About the series

Democracy in Crisis: Views from the Press

U.S. democratic institutions are under attack. While law enforcement agencies and a Congressional committee still work to investigate the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol – political violence aimed at blocking or overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election – a wave of subsequent efforts have continued to seek to undermine the norms and structures that have given Americans basic confidence in elections and in the peaceful transfer of power. Meanwhile, from state houses to the Supreme Court, bitter debates rage over voting rights, access, and security. 

The University of Michigan will host four award-winning journalists who will share their insights into the forces threatening and protecting American democratic structures and systems. The series is a partnership between the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Wallace House, and U-M Democracy & Debate 2021-22.

The Democracy in Crisis series will also explore the current state of journalism and the role of the press in upholding democratic institutions–at a time of demagogic attacks on the media and dramatic shifts in media ownership and independence.

The series begins with three events in March featuring Molly Ball, Barton Gellman, and Sarah Kendzior, and will culminate in a keynote lecture at the Michigan League by Pulitzer Prize winning author, journalist, and historian, Anne Applebaum, on April 4. 


Hosted by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Co-sponsored by Democracy & Debate, Wallace House, Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum, and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.