Reading List – 7th February 2020

1. Dictators in Trouble

Thomas Carothers writes that it is not just democracies that are losing popularity among their citizins. There are numerous examples of autocratic regimes where citizens have demanded change.


2. A More Democratic Country

Joe Mitchell has written a fine piece about how the UK needs to examine and re-invigorate its democracy. He suggests that it would be a good idea if the Government’s “Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission” included at least a part which was handed over to some form of citizens’ convention to examine what we want from democracy and how the government could go about delivering and securing it.

Canada, in its general election last year, had plans in place in case various forms of interference in the process were attempted. Why does the UK not have a similar plan?

And how do we measure the health of democracy in this country (or anywhere). It isn’t as simple as turnout. But what else could be included in such a metric?


3. Democracies under pressure

Continuing the theme, the American NGO IRI has produced a series of essays on the issue of democracies under pressure. I’d particularly recommend the essays on digital giants (one of my own recurring themes) and on trusts and mistrust in democratic societies.


4. If denuclearization is a fantasy, what can North Korean negotiations achieve?

Eli Levite and Toby Dalton explain that even if President Trump’s hopes of a big deal with North Korea are no longer feasible, there might be a point to continued dialogue. This would require realistic goals and a change in approach, however.