30 July 2020: Placing democratic values at the heart of the UK’s international strategy

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30 July 2020: Placing democratic values at the heart of the UK’s international strategy

July 22nd, 2020

Alex Thier in conversation with Sue Inglish

On 30 July, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) will host an online interview featuring questions from the public with Alex Thier, former director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Obama administration international aid advisor, to celebrate the launch of his new paper, A Force for Good in the World: Placing Democratic Values at the Centre of the UK’s International Strategy.

Democracy around the world is in unmistakeable decline, as authoritarian regimes now make up the majority of nations. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, civil liberties are being repressed – from President Orban’s extension of executive powers in Hungary to the extra-legal incarceration of democracy activists in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the UK is at a pivotal moment in its history, given it wants to look outwards as part of a new post-Brexit ‘Global Britain’. The new Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) presents an opportunity to rethink our international strategy. So, how can Britain seize this opportunity to demonstrate international leadership and continue to be a force for good in the world?

In an interview with former BBC Head of Political Programmes, Sue Inglish, Alex Thier will discuss his recommendations for the creation of a new Department for Democratic Governance to support democracies around the world and confront authoritarianism. Alex argues it is time to put democratic governance at the centre of Britain’s approach to foreign policy, development, and national security. In other words, it’s time to do development democratically.

Thursday 30 July
4.00pm UK time
Online event – Register to attend

Alex Thier

Alex Thier: Alex Thier is Senior Democracy Fellow at Freedom House and Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. He was appointed to senior positions at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) by President Obama, and is former Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London.


Sue Inglish: Sue Inglish serves on WFD’s Board of Governors. She was Head of Political Programmes for BBC News from 2005 to 2015, when she was responsible for the BBC’s political, parliamentary and election news, programmes and digital content. She chaired the committee of broadcasters and politicians which negotiated the first Prime Ministerial election debates in the UK. Before working at the BBC, Sue was the senior foreign editor and deputy editor of Channel 4 News from 1988 to 1997. She chairs the board of the International News Safety Institute, a charity working for the safety of journalists around the world, and is vice-chair of the board of trustees of Reach South, a multi-academy Trust. She chairs the Disasters Emergency Committee.



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