EDGE OF CHAOS: WHY DEMOCRACY IS FAILING TO DELIVER ECONOMIC GROWTH – AND HOW TO FIX IT

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EDGE OF CHAOS: WHY DEMOCRACY IS FAILING TO DELIVER ECONOMIC GROWTH – AND HOW TO FIX IT

2 May @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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A generation after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world is once again on the edge of chaos.

Demonstrations have broken out from Belgium to Brazil led by angry citizens demanding a greater say in their political and economic future, better education, healthcare and living standards. The bottom line of this outrage is the same; people are demanding their governments do more to improve their lives faster, something which policymakers are unable to deliver under conditions of anaemic growth. Rising income inequality and a stagnant economy are threats to both the developed and the developing world, and leaders can no longer afford to ignore this gathering storm.

By kind invitation of The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a discussion with Dr Dambisa Moyo, the internationally acclaimed economist who will argue that economic growth can only be achieved by aggressively overhauling the liberal democratic system we know and love. Dr Moyo will offer a solution by presenting a radical menu of ten ways to improve democracy: making it better able to address the range of headwinds that the global economy faces.

Dr. Dambisa Moyo is a global economist and author who analyses the macroeconomy and international affairs. Dambisa serves on the boards of Barclays Bank, Barrick Gold and Chevron. She was named by TIME Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and is the author of NY Times Bestsellers’ Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa; How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly and the Stark Choices Ahead; Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and what it Means for the World. Dambisa holds a Doctorate in economics from Oxford University and a Master’s degree from Harvard University.

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EVENT SUMMARY

“We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it”. Dr. Dambisa Moyo starts her book with this quote by Jean-Claude Juncker. According to her, it sums up the essence of the liberal democratic system, which she argues is in decline.

The Henry Jackson Society had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Moyo who discussed with the audience her new book, ‘The Edge of Chaos’.

Throughout her childhood in Zambia, her higher education in the UK and her career in the US, Dr. Moyo was taught that the path to economic success and growth the liberal democratic system. She argues, however, that this system is no longer the key to economic success and people are sceptic regarding the merits of this system. There are five major indicators highlighting the inability of the democratic system to flourish. These are as follows:

  • Declining voter participation,
  • Money seeping into the political process,
  • A mistrust on the part of the public in their national governments,
  • A decline in political freedoms wherein ‘full democracies’ are now ‘flawed democracies’, and
  • A sense of combat or gridlock in the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches of Government.

Dr. Moyo dedicated a large part of her discussion to the six major ‘headwinds’, or economic challenges, the world is going to face, or is already facing. These challenges are going to call for major shifts in political systems worldwide. Governments of democratic nations cannot, in a context like this, afford to suffer from myopia with respect to the functioning of their states. The first challenge is the rapid advancement in technology and the growing risk of loss in jobs. Second is the continual population growth the world is likely to experience until 2100- a challenge that demands attention to be paid to the quality of populations as well. Third is the massive income inequality facing countries all over the world. Fourth comes the idea that natural resources are depleting and severely limited. Fifth, Dr. Moyo addressed the massive speculation surrounding deepening levels of debt globally. Finally, the lack in growth in productivity despite the gains in technology and efficiencies that the world is said to have acquired.

These challenges, paired with the disbelief of the public in state governments points towards the failure of democratic systems to pave the way to growth and success that they promise. In her book, Dr. Moyo comes up with ten policy recommendations in total- 6 directed towards politicians and four directed towards voters. In the course of the event, she decided to share six of these recommendations.

Politicians:

  • A Reward-and-Punishment Scheme for politicians, as is seen in the private sector. Politicians would be offered increased pay with the need for the to justify these compensations.
  • Extending the term durations of politicians but limiting the number of terms, at the same time, allowing for emphasis on service for the state.
  • A set of minimum requirements for politicians, with a focus on creating a political body composed of diverse individuals (experiences, careers, cultures).

Voters:

  • Mandatory voting to ensure that everyone has a say in the democratic process.
  • Minimum standards for voters, not in terms of education but in terms of knowledge.
  • A system of weighted voting to allow for a more just democratic decision.

Details

Date:
2 May
Time:
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Tags:
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Venue

Wilson Room, Portcullis House
1 Parliament Street
London, SW1A 2JR United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Other

SPEAKER
Dr. Dambisa Moyo, international economist and New York Times best-selling author

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