VIU Launches New Speaker Series with Renowned Expert on Democracy and Civil Society

Engaged Citizens Speaker Series

The Engaged Citizens Speaker Series featuring Dr. Philip Oxhorn, Dean of International Education at VIU, takes place on Wednesday, September 11 at 7 pm in the Malaspina Theatre (Building 310 at VIU's Nanaimo campus). Oxhorn will speak on Understanding Democracy Today: The Challenge of Citizenship.

September 9, 2019 - 10:00am

How and why is citizenship critical to democracy and civil society? Does corporate citizenship exist? What rights and responsibilities should citizens have?

Dr. Philip Oxhorn, Dean of International Education at Vancouver Island University (VIU) will explore these questions and more in the inaugural Engaged Citizens Speaker Series talk on Wednesday, September 11.

“Democracy is what we make of it collectively,” says Oxhorn. “What democracy provides is the opportunity to define it in the ways we appreciate. If we don’t raise our voices, then no one is going to know what we want.”

The series is a new forum designed to provoke intellectual, engaging and meaningful dialogue about social challenges, opportunities and the community around us while advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Talks will take place at least twice a year on timely, relevant and thought-provoking topics aimed at engaging community members in a wider discussion around understanding the responsibilities of good citizenship.

Oxhorn is a regular contributor to academic journals and texts, and an internationally respected expert in Latin American affairs who is often called on by national and international media outlets for comment on issues happening in that region of the world. He has dedicated his academic career to the study of civil society and its role in supporting democratic regimes and his most recent publication was Sustaining Civil Society: Economic Change, Democracy and the Social Construction of Citizenship in Latin America.

After his talk, Oxhorn will lead a discussion with the audience and answer questions. The talk takes place from 7-9 pm in the Malaspina Theatre (Building 310 at VIU’s Nanaimo campus). Attendees are then invited to stay for a reception in the lobby. Register for your free ticket through Eventbrite.



Jenn McGarrigle, External Communications Advisor, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6559 | C:  250.619.6860 | E:

Dr. Philip Oxhorn, VIU Dean of International Education

Tags: Community Engagement | Announcements

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email