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Friday 7 November 2014, Rob Lyons

Podcast: should we fear democracy?

Recording of the Battle of Ideas 2014 keynote debate.

Democracy is in retreat. After years trying to spread democracy, the US has halted following the tragic debacle in Iraq. The West’s established democracies experience declining voter turnout and the hollowing-out of once mass-membership parties. This year’s Indian election provoked concern that 815million voters were expressing atavistic religious prejudice. Few openly discount democracy as an ideal, but most agree the reality is flawed. Many fear ‘populism’ – or people voting for the ‘wrong’ party. Are populist movements throwbacks or do they represent citizens frustrated with a deracinated political class? What has tarnished this foundational value of Western civilisation?

Speakers:

Professor Ivan Krastev, Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia; permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna

Professor Chantal Mouffe, professor of political theory, University of Westminster; author, Agonistics: thinking the world politically

Brendan O’Neill, editor, spiked; columnist, Big Issue; contributor, Spectator

Dr David Runciman, professor of politics, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), Cambridge University; author, The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War 1 to the Present

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Battle of Ideas 2014

10:00am, Saturday 18 October 2014, The Barbican, London

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