On Tuesday 11th March, Martin Jacques argued for the motion that Democracy is Not Always the Best Form of Government in a debate televised by BBC World News. Speaking for the motion with him was Rosemary Hollis, Professor of Middle East Policy Studies and Director of the Olive Tree Scholarship Programme at City University; speaking against the motion were the American political scientist Ian Bremmer, and the Ukranian MP Andriy Shevchenko. “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried” — So said Winston Churchill. And who would disagree? But is the assumption that democracy always leads to a more liberal and tolerant society correct? Many would argue that it can lead to quite illiberal outcomes especially where there is profound ethnic division. Take for example Yugoslavia. Slobodan Milosevic – the democratically elected president – left a legacy of more than 200,000 dead in Bosnia and ethnically cleansed more than 800,000 Albanians from their homes in Kosovo. And what if democracy were installed in Syria? It’s not hard to imagine the outcome for the minority groups who for decades have enjoyed the protection of Assad’s regime. Is democracy always the best outcome?