This event has already taken place.
Host: Intelligence Squared
Location: Cadogan Hall 5 Sloane Terrace London SW1X 9DQ
Speaker: For: Rosemary Hollis, Martin Jacques Against: Ian Bremmer, Eugenia Tymoshenko
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.