Location: Cadogan Hall 5 Sloane Terrace London SW1X 9DQ
Speaker: For: Rosemary Hollis, Martin Jacques Against: Ian Bremmer, Eugenia Tymoshenko
Information: Standard ticket £30.00 Debate will be filmed by the BBC
Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. So said Winston Churchill and who would disagree? One man, one vote, the rule of law, equality and a free press. These are the Enlightenment principles the West has developed over the centuries and fought tooth and nail in countless wars to preserve or to propagate.
But is the assumption that democracy always leads to a more liberal and tolerant society correct? Many would argue that it can lead to quite illiberal outcomes especially where there is profound ethnic division. Take for example Yugoslavia. Slobodan Milosevic – the democratically elected president – left a legacy of more than 200,000 dead in Bosnia and ethnically cleansed more than 800,000 Albanians from their homes in Kosovo. And what if democracy were installed in Syria? It’s not hard to imagine the outcome for the minority groups who for decades have enjoyed the protection of Assad’s regime.
Is democracy always the best outcome? Come to Cadogan Hall on March 11 2014, hear the arguments and decide for yourself.
Location: Methodist Central Hall Westminster London SW1H 9NH
Speaker: Daniel Kahneman in Conversation with David Baddiel
Information: Tickets £15.00 to £40.00 all including a copy of the book
Join us for an evening to honour Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman. His book Thinking, Fast and Slow sold over a million copies and has become a global phenomenon. There may be no other person on the planet who better understands how and why we make the choices we make; this is a rare opportunity to hear from one of the greatest thinkers of our time.
‘A lifetime’s worth of wisdom’ Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
‘Buy it fast. Read it slowly. It will change the way you think, on the job, about the world, and in your own life.’ Richard Thaler, co-author of Nudge
Speaker: Authors, Broadcasters, Politicians in a glittering line up
Information: Saturday 22nd March to Sunday 30th March
Oxford Literary Festival is pleased to announce we have a new title partner, FT Weekend. The 2014 festival will be known as FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival. The new title partnership will open up new avenues for debate and discussion around literature, culture and current affairs.
This year's festival is now open for booking. Around 70 events are available for online booking through the website, including 2013 Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton, Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman, pictured right, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency author Alexander McCall Smith and thriller writer Robert Harris.
This year's festival will also see a Blackwell's Bookshop-sponsored marquee next to the Sheldonian Theatre to house a festival bookshop, a box office, a cafe and some retail units. A new ticketing system is also under development that will make the festival a 'ticketless' event.
To book tickets and to find out more about the 2014 FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, visit http://www.oxfordliteraryfestival.org
Location: Royal Institution 21 Albemarle Street London W1S 4BS
Speaker: Scott Anderson and Ali Allawi
Information: Tickets £30.00
How much blame for the current troubles in the Middle East lies with the decisions made by the West in 1919 - when the Ottoman Empire was carved up arbitrarily into the modern states we know today? Is it true that Arab society has tended to define itself less by what it aspires to become than what it is opposed to: colonialism, Zionism, and Western imperialism? That era seems to be coming to an end with the recent Arab Spring movements. As ethnic and religious loyalties intensify, will new lines be drawn? And will they lead to greater harmony in the region or exacerbated conflict?
These are some of the questions we will be asking in this Intelligence Squared event, which focuses on two of the central players behind the formation of the modern Middle East, Lawrence of Arabia and King Faisal I. Both are subjects of brilliant new biographies. The books’ authors, Scott Anderson and Ali Allawi, will be discussing the intertwining lives of these extraordinary men, and the war, treason, and secret colonial plots that are part of their story.