In this episode 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?
In this episode the focus is on the latest presidential elections in France and the state of its democracy. What were the significant differences between this election and the previous one? Is there a new wave of anti-intellectual sentiment spreading across the country? It also delves upon how current political entities manoeuvre their way within the framework of the traditional right/left divide: has Macron forsaken his liberal values and did that lead to reluctance among his voters? Did Marine Le Pen’s strategy of de-demonization work? How did the far-left fare and who did they vote for in the second round?
This episode discusses how Vladimir Putin’s worldview was shaped and explores his possible motives for invading Ukraine. Also examined is the global response to the invasion, which has not been uniform around the world, as well as how the invasion has brought about closer unity between the United States and Europe, which had been drifting apart for some time.
This episode provides insight into why Hungary’s Viktor Orban was reelected to a consecutive fourth term with another parliamentary supermajority. Discussed is the role of the unlevel playing field in the leadup to the elections in terms of electoral laws and media domination, as well as how the war in Ukraine benefited the government. The episode closes with some thoughts on what Orban’s reelection could mean for the European Union.
This episode focuses on Myanmar’s slow journey towards democratization, which appeared to have been halted by the military coup in 2021. What is also discussed is the legacy of British colonial rule in which certain ethnic groups were favored over others, and the progress of international actions against the Myanmarese military regime over the Rohingya genocide. Furthermore, the impact of the war in Ukraine is examined as something that may force the military back on the road towards democratization.
This episode explores Putin's threat to democracy in Europe and Ukraine's conflict with Russia since the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Slawomir Sierakowski discusses soft authoritarianism, the strategic significance of sanctions, and further articulates what the war could mean for refugees and energy in Europe.
This episode explores the geopolitical, economic, and social implications of the current war in Ukraine. The in-depth historical analysis, both of the current Russian invasion in Ukraine, and the larger global context outlines how the war can be understood as a world war, which involves the rethinking and remaking of a world order.
This episode explores the complex and contradictory relationship between liberalism and illiberalism in a historical framework. It speaks to several key questions about the emergence of illiberal practices today: What is the nature of the illiberal challenge to an understanding of liberalism as individual freedom? Is there a natural affinity between liberalism and democracy? How do populist illiberal trends exploit the weaknesses of liberal constitutional regimes? And from where do threats to liberal principles in universities emerge?
This episode explores challenges generated by the digital age and their impact on freedom of expression in an unequal world. What threats does disinformation pose to democracy? Why are minorities unable to exercise their right to free expression equally in the digital space? And how can big data and tech corporations be subject to accountability and regulation?
This episode explores the political phenomena related to governance in illiberal democracies. What relationships do such regimes have to the rule of law and the constitution? How does legal cheating play a role in the governance style? And how can democracy be restored after an illiberal interlude?