An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

Death by a Thousand Cuts: Leadership and the Demise of Democracy

Presenters: Matt Qvortrup and Gillian Secrett (Moderator)

Date: Friday, 8 October 11:00 EDT | 16:00 BST

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This webinar, based on the book Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Slow Demise of Democracy (Democracy in Times of Upheaval), will add substance to a much-discussed topic: threats to democracy. While democratic breakdowns may be dramatic events, such as General Pinochet’s violent coup in Chile, or Generalissimo Franco’s overthrow of the Spanish Republic, only five percent of democracies end like that. Most often, popular government is brought down gradually; almost imperceptibly. Putting the current crisis of democracy into historical perspective, the presenter will briefly chronicle how would-be despots, dictators, and outright tyrants have finessed the techniques of killing democracies. This webinar will highlight how complacency is the greatest danger for the survival of government by the people, explore the use of crises as a pretext for dismantling democracy, draw parallels between historic and contemporary attacks on democracies, and offer insights for those struggling to save democracies around the world.

Who Should Attend

  • Citizens concerned with safe-guarding their country’s democracy
  • Leaders focused on building democratic systems
  • Political scientists, leadership educators and civics teachers
  • Scholars and students researching democracies in times of upheaval

Speaker Information

Matt Qvortrup

Matt Qvortrup, DPhil (Oxon) is Professor of Political Science at Coventry University. An expert on comparative democracy, Professor Qvortrup won the Oxford University Press Law Prize in 2012 and was awarded the PSA Prize in 2013 for best political science article of that year.   He is editor-in-chief of the Q1 Journal The European Political Science Review. The author of more than 10 book, his acclaimed biography Angela Merkel: Europe’s Most Influential Leader (Overlook/Duckworth 2016) has been translated into Chinese, Russian, and Korean. He has advised the US State Department, the British Foreign Office, and the United Nations on regulatory and leadership issues

Headshot of Gillian Secrett

Gillian Secrett, Director of Leadership Programmes, University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership at University of Cambridge, UK