Is it enough to give a voice to the voiceless?

At a radicalisation conference last week in Singapore I had a chance to talk about, 'Communication Rights and Democratic Resilience', which led to useful debate among policymakers and scholars from North America, Europe and across Asia about the difficulty governments face in actively listening to groups feeling disenfranchised or ignored while at the same time respecting majority opinion. Yes, there are the consultations, citizens' panels and focus groups that governments have done, and the proliferation of news channels and social media spaces that aspire to 'give voice to the voiceless'. But what is the point of having a voice if you aren't listened to or don't have any influence? It was refreshing to discuss matters of democracy and pluralism at a radicalisation conference, instead of the usual narrow focus on what causes terrorism (usual answer: "the internet!").

The event was organised jointly by the Rajaratnum School for International Studies (RSIS) and the University of Warwick. Many thanks to the organisisers.