Exchange to Change January 2017 - Page 6


It was important for British people to be able to have a conversation about the EU , and more generally to engage in politics in a meaningful way .

After several decades of what seemed to be effective democracy-promotion , the concept of democracy may be losing its appeal in the international arena : on the one hand , authoritarian states have shown that democracy is not necessary for economic growth , while on the other , the existence of democratic institutions has not guaranteed democratic outcomes for many people . The theme for the 2016 edition of Debating Development — an annual series of debates organised by IOB and USOS — was

What Future for Democracy ?, and it delved into some of these questions about the value of democracy headon . It was one of the best attended editions of Debating Development in its 14-year history . Yet in the early part of 2016 when the theme was chosen and the debates were planned , the organizers had no idea of some of the surprising twists and turns for democracy that lay ahead . Here , we take a closer look at three instances in 2016 where the outcomes of democratic processes surprised the world .
The Brexit
It ’ s a cliché to say that the world is now more interconnected than ever ; yet beneath this truism lurks an interesting paradox . While borders are said to be dissipating in the wake of globalization and Internet-enabled communications technology , a rising sense of nationalism is buoying populist movements set on resurrecting traditional borders . The question of immigration in Europe — driven in part by the ongoing crisis in Syria — has ignited a movement to
Exchange to change January 2017