6th Nov 2017 7:00pm
Sallis Benney Theatre
Winston Churchill described democracy as ‘the least bad of all systems.’ So it is, when it works. But it has been made to fail – notice those words: ‘made to fail’ – in at least two of its leading examples in today’s world, the US and the UK. This talk is about how democracy has been made to fail. And it is about how to put it right.
Prompted by the EU referendum in the UK and the presidential election in the USA, A. C. Grayling investigates why the institutions of representative democracy seem unable to hold up against forces they were designed to manage, and why, crucially, it matters. With the advent of authoritarian leaders and the simultaneous rise of populism, representative democracy appears to be caught between a rock and a hard place, yet it is this space that it must occupy, says Grayling, if a civilized society, that looks after all its people, is to flourish.
A. C. Grayling is Professor of Philosophy and Master of the New College of the Humanities, London. Among his many books are Towards the Light: The Story of the Struggle for Liberty and Rights that Made the Modern West, Liberty in the Age of Terror, The God Argument and The Age of Genius. He has been a regular contributor to newspapers and is a popular speaker at festivals and debates. He appears frequently on radio and TV, including Newsnight and Radio Four.
Doors open 6.30pm for a 7pm start.
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