The ever-popular ‘Democracy Day’ returns to Belfast’s most thought-provoking festival, the Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics on Friday 25th March. ‘Democracy Day’ is a collection of workshops, panel discussions and talks designed to encourage and stimulate political discussion and debate whilst encouraging exploration of how we view, consume and articulate politics in Northern Ireland and beyond.
Festival founder and director, Peter O’Neill explains:
“Democracy Day is back for its six annual outing at the festival. It’s a full day long programme exploring the health of democracy and the latest local and international thinking about what needs to be done to reinvigorate democracy and make it fit for purpose in our volatile times. At these 11 events, our great line up of local and international speakers will examine a number of models of deliberative democracy and argue that there needs to be a deeper involvement of citizens in decision-making. In the run up to the forthcoming Assembly elections, we believe it is important to consider how ordinary citizens can contribute to political change and have their say and everyone is welcome to attend our events on Friday – many of which are free.”
Events include; ‘Getting Women into Politics’ a training programme that aims to give women the skills, knowledge and experience to run for elected office, ‘The Democratic Future of Northern Ireland’ organised by the Democracy Unit at Queen’s University, Belfast the event will highlight the democratic debates surrounding the future of Northern Ireland and Nicholas Whyte will examine the likely outcomes of the forthcoming local assembly elections and a potential unity vote in ‘Where do we go from here?’.
Democracy Day is proudly supported by Queen’s University Belfast and their involvement is essential to the delivery of the programme. John Garry is Professor of Political Behaviour at Queen’s University, Belfast and leads The Democracy Unit, a research centre established in 2019 focusing on the study of democratic theory, institutions and behaviour.
Commenting on this year’s Democracy Day programme John said:
“The Democracy Unit is a recently established research centre in Queen’s that conducts research on democratic attitudes and behaviour in Northern Ireland, the UK and further afield. Our contribution on Democracy Day is an event that examines the democratic future of Northern Ireland, focusing on the attitudes of citizens and elected politicians. The Democracy Unit is delighted to act as a sponsor of the range of fascinating events taking place on Democracy Day that will encourage vibrant debate about what a healthy democracy in Northern Ireland looks like.”
For full details on the Democracy Day programme please visit: https://imaginebelfast.com/