A Pacific Council podcast about democracies in times of crisis featuring DiA’s very own Fromagehomme, aka Nic Cheeseman. As countries around the world respond to a pandemic, many democratically elected leaders have taken extreme, even undemocratic, measures. In many countries, including Hungary, Brazil, Israel, France – and a number of countries in Africa – there is concern that leaders and lawmakers may use the crisis for political gains. These uncertain times prompt the question: How do democracies fare in times of crisis?
Dr. Nic Cheeseman, Professor of Democracy and International Development, University of Birmingham
Nic Cheeseman was formerly the director of the African Studies Centre at Oxford University. He mainly works on democracy, elections, and development and has conducted fieldwork in a range of African countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Shanthi Kalathil, Senior Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy
Shanthi Kalathil’s work focuses primarily on authoritarian challenges to democracy in the information age. Previously in her career, she served as a senior democracy fellow at the US Agency for International Development, an associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and as a consultant for the World Bank, the Aspen Institute, and other international affairs organizations.
Dr. Katja Newman, President, KSN Consulting
Katja Newman is a Pacific Council member and a professor at Loyola Marymount University.
Thank you for this podcast. I totally endorse its contents. My take away is as follows: We are now running an unspeakable hazard following the advent of coronavirus, and the question we must all ask ourselves is how to mitigate what is upon us? In answer, may I please speak with Lord Bacon when he said: money is like manure, good for nothing in the heap, but it must be spread; yet it is an evil which we often see under the sun, treasure heaped together, which does good to no one. And so it is with democratic values; many know their worth, but make no effort to spread them, defeating their very object. It is therefore the duty of everyone of us to make himself beneficial to keep the flame of democracy alive, and to spread democratic values to those around us; to a great number if possible; but if this is not possible, to a few. This is the only we can hope to defeat the rising tide of authoritarianism, which is riding on the coat-tails of coronavirus.