Articles by: Alice Watanabe

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy in Europe: Participatory budgeting is a solution to the austerity vs democracy conundrum

Deepening Democracy in Europe: Participatory budgeting is a solution to the austerity vs democracy conundrum

In its mission statement the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security points out that while elections are vital to democracy, on their own they are not sufficient. According to, “Deepening Democracy”, a recent report, elections also need integrity. They are right. But elections are insufficient in at least another respect too. Democracy is not limited to casting a ballot once every four or five years; the nature of democratic government also manifests itself in the period between elections. This is best exemplified by the current sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone.

by × 18 November 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

How to improve democracy in China? Start with a free press

How to improve democracy in China? Start with a free press

Before joining the first cohort of students at the Blavatnik School of Government, I worked as a journalist for state-owned China Central Television, the biggest media outlet in China. Before that I spent four years working as a reporter and anchor for the Beijing Television Station, the local outlet for China’s capital city, also owned and operated by the government. Based on this, if I’m asked, about a single measure would strengthen democracy in my home country, I would firstly respond that you have to have more than one measure to reach that goal. However, if I can only choose one, I would definitely vote for free speech and an independent media.

by × 08 November 2012 ×