The newest episode of the Democracy in Question podcast, hosted by Central European University (CEU) President and Rector, Shalini Randeria, features Michael John Hastings, Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick, son of an Angolan father and a Jamaican mother. He graduated from Oxford and began his career as a schoolteacher, but then joined the government to support policy initiatives for employment and development to Britain's inner cities in a period marked by urban riots.
He worked for the BBC as head of its public affairs, and then as its first head of corporate social responsibility. Lord Hastings has held prestigious positions as a trustee of the Vodafone Group Foundation, as vice-chair of the World Economic Forum Agenda Council and is also currently the chair of the School of African and Oriental Studies Board of Trustees. In 2002, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to crime reduction and his work with the Commission for Racial Equality.
In this episode "Faltering democratic systems and the need to reconstruct democracy with Lord Hastings" published June 8, Shalini and her guest discuss the current state of democracy around the world. Why is democracy faltering around the world even in countries where it was previously well established? Why an unelected, non-democratic body like the House of Lords has joined the debate on democracy and is sounding off alarms? Can crises like Brexit or the war in Ukraine encourage the debate to rethink how democracy works? What type of media and politicians can best assist in achieving this?
Series four of Democracy in Question is produced in partnership with the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy at the Graduate Institute in Geneva (AHCD) where Randeria is a Senior Fellow. ACHD and the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna co-produced seasons one and two of the podcast.