Ctrl - Alt - Resetting Democracy in the 21st Century

Date: Saturday March 24th
Venue: dlr LexIcon, The Studio
Time: 10:30am
Cost: €14 €12

Chaired by Margaret E. Ward, panellists Danny Dorling, Liam Kennedy, Elizabeth Day and Ivana Bacik discuss the fact that this is not a moment to take democracy for granted. The 2016 emergence of Donald Trump, Brexit and populism in Europe didn't signal the start of something new. Rather, they announced a long simmering, troubling sense of powerlessness. How did we get here? How are Western values shifting and how can government truly respond? How do we arrive at a point, once again at which people with ostensibly opposing ideological viewpoints have, in actual fact, more in common than separates them? And is it possible to have “too much” democracy?

Danny Dorling joined the School of Geography and the Environment in September 2013 to take up the Halford Mackinder Professorship in Geography. He was previously a professor of Geography at the University of Sheffield. He has also worked in Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds and New Zealand, went to university in Newcastle upon Tyne, and to school in Oxford. Much of Danny's work is available open access (see With a group of colleagues he helped create the website which shows who has most and least in the world. His work concerns issues of housing, health, employment, education, wealth and poverty. His recent books include, co-authored texts The Atlas of the Real World: Mapping the way we live and Bankrupt Britain: An atlas of social change.

Professor Liam Kennedy is Director of the Clinton Institute for American Studies at University College Dublin. He has diverse research interests and teaching experiences, spanning the fields of American cultural and media studies, globalisation and Irish-US relations.  He is the author of Susan Sontag, Race and Urban Space in American Culture and Afterimages: Photography and US Foreign Policy. He is currently researching contemporary Irish America and also preparing edited books on the election and presidency of Donald Trump and on diaspora and diplomacy.

Elizabeth Day is an author and journalist. She is a feature writer for numerous publications in the UK and US. She is a contributing editor for Harper's Bazaar. A versatile and wide-ranging writer, her work incorporates everything from celebrity interviews to crime reportage. Her debut novel Scissors, Paper, Stone won a Betty Trask Award. Her follow-up, Home Fires was an Observer Book of the Year. Her third, Paradise City was named one of the best novels of 2015 in the Observer, Paste Magazine and the Evening Standard, and was People magazine's Book of the Week.  Her fourth novel, The Party was published in 2017.

Ivana Bacik is the Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology. She has a Law degree from Trinity College Dublin and an LL.M. from the London School of Economics. She practises as a barrister, and teaches courses in Criminal law; Criminology; and Penology at Trinity. She is also a Senator for Dublin University. Her research interests include criminal law and criminology, constitutional law, feminist theories and law, human rights and equality issues in law.  She is a Labour party member of Seanad Eireann.

Margaret E. Ward is an entrepreneur, financial journalist and broadcaster. In 2005, she set up Clear Ink, now a global brand communications agency.  Over 25 years as a print journalist, she mainly worked for The Irish Times as a business and personal finance columnist and investigative reporter, and as The Sunday Times’ first Money editor in Ireland. She was awarded the Law Society of Ireland’s Justice Media Award for social and campaigning journalism for an 18-month investigative report and a Science and Technology Journalism award, both while working for The Irish Times. Mags has been a business presenter on Newstalk and is a regular contributor to RTÉ, TV3, BBC and National Public Radio (USA). In 2014, she was nominated to the RTÉ Board by the Oireachtas committee on communications.  She also sits on the board of European Movement Ireland.