If twenty years ago it was a default that democracy is a good system of governance, then the tables have turned. In my class on development practices in 2018/2019 the majority of students, most of whom come from the Global South, did not see democracy as essential to development. In other words, democracy was neither an end nor a means for them when it came to “development”, even defined in broader terms such as subjective well-being. Questions abandoned on what a democracy was and how to know it when you saw one. This concerned the majority of students, there were a few hands here and there still believing in it, the Westerners. This is a remarkable change in attitudes and can also be reflected in the current world affairs. A recent “fresh out of oven” episode of John Oliver on Authoritarianism comes in handy here. I embed it for all you to watch. Enjoy!


Assistant Professor at International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, The Netherlands

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