As the UK looks outward as post-Brexit ‘Global Britain’, the world is facing both rising authoritarianism and democratic decline. A new paper by Alex Thier, former director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Obama administration international aid advisor, argues that Britain has an opportunity for international leadership at this pivotal moment in its history: The UK’s interests, values, resources and influence call for a leadership role in supporting democratic governance and confronting authoritarianism.
The policy paper argues that the UK should issue a new integrated cross-Whitehall strategy to defend established democracies and institutions, support emerging or struggling democracies, and counter authoritarians. Thier argues that the UK should put governance at the centre of its approach to foreign policy, development, and national security, shifting its focus from pursuing good governance to democratic governance. To this end, the new FDCO should create a Department for Democratic Governance.