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The future of democracy in the UK


5 Oct
parliament at night
The panel will look at the future of democracy in the UK. Picture: STOCK

In recent years, the democratic system of the UK has come under strain. Brexit has mercilessly highlighted the faultlines between Westminster and Scotland, and Westminster and Northern Ireland. Yet many of these problems were already in the water. Consensus is lacking over key issues such as the role of the judiciary, the voting system, devolution, and the second chamber of Parliament.


Then coronavirus came. The emergency we face now may only be the first of many such watersheds in a century where the UK, like every other state, must deal with the impact of climate change. In an age of populism, certain states have seen leaders garner extraordinary emergency powers through the crisis. How will democracy as constituted in the British state respond to these threats in a way that balances liberty and security?


And most recently of all, waves of protests and direct action by the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted deep-seated inequalities in the structure and history of the British state. These inequalities undermine democratic participation, both at voter level and in Westminster itself. How much longer will change take?


Is there a future in which a British democracy, revived and reconfigured, can truly serve all quarters of society?

Mon 5 Oct, 14.00-16.00 Panel 1: Whose democracy? Equality and representation
Wed 7 Oct, 14.00-16.00 Panel 2: Liberty, security, emergency
Fri 9 Oct, 14.00-17.00 Panel 3: Deliberative democracy and politics in the UK


You will be sent joining instructions for all three panels nearer the dates.

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