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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

Why politics fails: what are we getting wrong?

Why politics fails: what are we getting wrong?

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise


The revolving doors of power always leave us disappointed. But are politicians themselves always the problem, or have we set up a political system that’s always doomed to fail?

Democracy is a series of dilemmas. It should work in principle, but can you ever have any true ‘will of the people’? We want equal rights, but equal rights and equal outcomes can undermine each other. As a society we want to protect ourselves from harm, but not if it undermines our freedoms.

Have we actually created a series of political traps for ourselves? If the answers are in the nuanced, how can we become more politically sophisticated… or is this where politicians are holding us back?

In this ThinkIn, Tortoise political editor Cat Neilan is joined by Ben Ansell, an award-winning Professor of Comparative Democratic Institutions. He was one of the youngest fellows of the British Academy, and he is the Principal Investigator of the multi-million-pound ERC project ‘The Politics of Wealth Inequality’.

editor and invited experts

Giles Whittell
Deputy Editor

Ben Ansell
Academic and author of ‘Why Politics Fails’

Cat Neilan
Political editor, Tortoise