From: Head to Head

Is it time to rethink democracy?

Economist Dambisa Moyo on why she believes Western democracy is in crisis and how she plans to fix it.

In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges the renowned economist and thinker Dambisa Moyo on why she believes liberal democracy is under siege and requires a radical overhaul.

The best-selling author first made waves with her book Dead Aid where she argued that foreign aid was preserving poverty in Africa instead of relieving it.

Now, the former Goldman Sachs banker and World Bank consultant is taking on an even bigger target: liberal democracy.

In recent years, the West has been said to be in crisis. The election of Donald Trump in the United States, the UK’s Brexit vote and the rise of far-right parties across Europe have all been cited as evidence of the failures of the current political system.

In her new book, Edge of ChaosMoyo provides her own diagnosis for the recent rise in populism and provides a radical blueprint for change.

The notion that democracy is not a problem is mad. It's crazy.

by Dambisa Moyo,

We challenge her on whether her plans to save it – by giving some voters more power than others – will end up killing democracy instead. We also ask if economic growth is more important than political freedom.

Speaking about China and its economic model, Moyo commented how “over 300 million people have been moved out of poverty in 30 years” and suggested that the West should be careful not to “point fingers” when commenting on the country’s democratic record, which was on its own particular “path”.

We are joined by a panel of three experts:

  • Jason Hickel, anthropologist at University of London and author of, The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions.

  • Ann Pettifor, author of, The Production of Money, and one of only a handful of economists who correctly predicted the financial crisis.

  • Jamie Whyte, director of research at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and a former New Zealand politician and philosophy lecturer.

Is it time to rethink democracy? with Dambisa Moyo will be broadcast on August 3 at 20:00 GMT and will be repeated on August 4 at 12:00 GMT, August 5 at 01:00 GMT and August 6 at 06:00 GMT. 

Head to Head is Al Jazeera’s forum for ideas, a gladiatorial contest tackling the big issues such as faith, nationalism, democracy and foreign intervention in front of an opinionated audience at the Oxford Union. 

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