BSG Students

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Wales and Taxes: One small country, one big report, one great democratic idea

Wales and Taxes: One small country, one big report, one great democratic idea

Did you hear about the Silk Commission last week…? No? Let me explain: the Commission produced a report which threw its weight behind a key democratic idea which a country – any country – can adopt to deepen democracy. As the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy & Security noted, developing […]

by × 03 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy in the United States: “Elections with integrity” require accurate information

Deepening Democracy in the United States: “Elections with integrity” require accurate information

Washington’s Bête Noire I think it’s fair to say that democracy in the United States is already pretty “deep”. As a US citizen, I feel incredibly lucky to live in a society whose history is rooted in democratic ideals—a society that continues to benefit from the types of “elections with […]

by × 03 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy in India: Fine-tuning rules and procedures to strengthen parliamentary oversight on the government

Deepening Democracy in India: Fine-tuning rules and procedures to strengthen parliamentary oversight on the government

The Deepening Democracy report by the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Securitydiscusses the importance of improving the integrity of elections. While fairness, funding and conduct of elections undoubtedly is a concern that citizens espouse worldwide, that in itself may not be a panacea to fulfil the function of representative […]

by × 02 December 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy Means Looking Beyond Elections

Deepening Democracy Means Looking Beyond Elections

We must remember that democracies are not self-executing systems; they stand on complex political institutions that reflect the political power of the citizenry. For many countries, then, the challenge is keeping the population constructively engaged in the democratic process following successful free and fair elections. Elections are often not the […]

by × 28 November 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy, Deepening Divides: Can democracy and the international refugee regime coexist?

Deepening Democracy, Deepening Divides: Can democracy and the international refugee regime coexist?

A report on deepening democracy released by the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security recognised that the enfranchisement of displaced populations, including refugees, ‘is critical for ensuring the integrity of elections and the establishment of democracy’. But this statement belies a deeper interaction, and even conflict, between the international refugee regime and democracy.

What would ‘deepening democracy’ mean for the refugee regime? I suggest that strengthening democratic institutions could deepen divides between refugees and host communities. To ensure that the international refugee regime and democracy can successfully co-exist, we must think not just of deepening democracy, but of also balancing it with the rights of refugees.

by × 27 November 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Fighting corruption: Effective examples from surprising places

Fighting corruption: Effective examples from surprising places

What could Hong Kong, Liberia, and Kosovo teach us? Perhaps, rather unexpectedly, about successful ways of dealing with public corruption. Corruption is effectively a hidden tax on living and doing business in many emerging democracies and, as a result, is one of the most serious obstacles to deepening democracy and economic development. It is particularly dangerous when corruption turns into a culturally accepted practice.

by × 26 November 2012 ×

BSG Students, Deepening Democracy

Deepening Democracy: In Nigeria, improving government accountability means paying politicians less

Deepening Democracy: In Nigeria, improving government accountability means paying politicians less

While the Global Commission report on Deepening Democracy provides insightful recommendations on strategies for improving electoral integrity, we must remember that elections are just one step in the democratic process. Certain precursors need to be made right in order to make the report’s recommended strategies achievable. Having lived in Nigeria and experienced the democratic process there, I am of the opinion that one vital measure needed to strengthen its nascent democracy is to drastically reduce the excessive financial incentives that accompany political positions. The quest for political leadership must be guided by a passion to lead and make changes. Sadly, these are noble incentives overshadowed by the “what is in for me?” mentality of personal gratification that has eaten deep into the fabric of the country’s political space.

by × 23 November 2012 ×

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 ×