ILA Podcast

Democracy on the Run: How Strong and Capable Leaders Can Impact

Maureen Metcalf Podcast Cover

with Mike Hardy, Veronika Anghel, and Matt Qvortrup

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According to Freedom House, over 60% of the world’s countries were democracies at the turn of the millennium. The number is now below 50%. Democratic breakdowns are not often dramatic events. Often popular government is brought down gradually, almost imperceptibly. Democracies are undermined from within, through abusing tax laws against opponents, employing libel laws to silence the press, selecting friendly judges to tilt the political balance, and while typically, political parties remain in existence and there are still elections, one day — democracy ceases to exist. Thought leaders working in a broad range of countries discuss how would-be despots, dictators, and demagogues have finessed these undermining techniques and will share leadership strategies that can be used to strengthen democracies.

About the Guest

Mike Hardy

Professor Mike Hardy CMG OBE FRSA is Founding Director of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University, UK. After a distinguished career, he returned to the academic world in 2011 as Professor of Intercultural Relations at Coventry University. Mike is active with UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations; he is currently lead advisor to the World Forum for Intercultural Dialogue in Baku, the World Peace Forum in Indonesia and directs the RISING Global Peace Forum at Coventry. Professor Hardy has been twice honoured, awarded the OBE in 2001 for his peace-building work in the Middle East, and appointed a Companion of Honour of St Michael and St George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, June 2010, for his work internationally in Intercultural Dialogue. Mike is a trustee of The Faith and Belef Forum the leading interfaith charity in the UK and Board Chair of the US-based International Leadership Association.

Veronica Anghel

Veronika Anghel, is an Analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit. She also serves as Vienna & Foreign Affairs Adviser, Presidential Administration of Romania. Veronika is a Junior Visiting Fellow during 2018 for the Institute fur Wissen Schaffen vom Menschen focusing on a research project: Mechanisms of Modernization and Nation-State Institutionalization in Central and Eastern Europe (19th – 21st Century). The research aims at uncovering divergent and discontinuous projects of modernization, leading to unaccomplished structural reformation and adaptation to contemporary Western standards and expectations.

Matt Qvortrup

Matt Qvortrup is professor of political science at Coventry University. Described by the Financial Times, as “a world authority on referendums”, he has published more than a dozen books on democracy and presented the BBC Program How to Kill a Democracy.

Host Maureen Metcalf

Maureen Metcalf

Maureen Metcalf brings 30 years of experience and success in the fields of leadership, innovation, and technology. A regular contributor to, Metcalf has authored an award-winning book series on leadership and is the Founder & CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute. She is the host of an Innovating Leadership, a weekly international podcast that hit the airways in July 2015. As an ILA Fellow, Maureen partners with the International Leadership Associate on a series of global leadership podcasts within the show.