Lobbying & democracy

The Evatt Foundation presents John Keane

AS we look toward the possibility, even the likelihood, of Kevin Rudd becoming the 26th Australian Prime Minister after the 2007 general election, the Evatt Foundation looks toward the rejuvenation of Australian democracy. In this public seminar, the renowned theorist of democracy, John Keane, will discuss the fascinating history of both the term and the practice of political lobbying, with a special emphasis on its changing contemporary vagaries and (largely) perverse implications for representative democracy as we know it.

About John Keane

Born in Australia and educated at the Universities of Adelaide, Toronto and Cambridge, John Keane is Professor of Politics at the University of Westminster and at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB). In 1989 he founded the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD). Among his many books are The Media and Democracy (1991), which has been translated into more than twenty-five languages; Democracy and Civil Society (1988; 1998); Reflections on Violence (1996); Civil Society: Old Images, New Visions (1998); the prize-winning biography Tom Paine: A Political Life (1995); and a study of power, Václav Havel: A Political Tragedy in Six Acts (1999). Among his most recent works are Violence and Democracy (2004), and Global Civil Society? (2003).

"The Evatt Foundation looks toward the rejuvenation of Australian democracy."

In recent years, he has held the prestigious Karl Deutsch Professorship in Berlin and served as a Fellow of the influential London-based think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). The London Times has ranked him as one of Britain's leading political thinkers and writers whose work has "a world-wide importance". The Australian Broadcasting Commission recently described him as "one of the great intellectual exports from Australia".

His current research interests include the future of global governance; fear, violence and democracy; citizenship and civil society in Europe; the history of secularism; public life and freedom of communication; eighteenth-century republicanism; the post-communist regimes of central and eastern Europe; and the philosophy and politics of Islam. A recent member of the American-based Institutions of Democracy Commission, he is currently completing a full-scale history of democracy - the first for over a century and the subject of a 30-part BBC Radio series to be transmitted in 2008.

More reading

Visit John Keane's website.

Read John Keane's short history of democracy on the Evatt website.

Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney. 5.30 pm for 6.00 pm, Thursday 4 October; $10; (02) 9385 7137 or e-mail: evatt@unsw.edu.au