[csaa-forum] John Keane/'monitory democracy'/18 Nov, UNSW, 5pm

Gerard Goggin g.goggin at unsw.edu.au
Sat Nov 1 13:59:36 CST 2008

ŒMonitory Democracy?: The Secret History of Democracy Since 1945¹
Professor John Keane (U. of Westminister & Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin)
5pm, Tuesday 18 November, 2008
University of New South Wales
Webster 327 (theatrette)
Hosted by the Journalism & Media Research Centre, Faculty of Arts and Social
Sciences, UNSW
public lecture ‹ all welcome
ŒMonitory Democracy?: The Secret History of Democracy Since 1945¹
This lecture proposes a fundamental revision of the way we think about
democracy and media in our times. It pinpoints an epochal transformation
that is taking place in the contours and dynamics of representative
democracy in countries otherwise as different as the United States and
India, France and Australia. It calls into question Œend of history¹
perspectives and maritime metaphors (Huntington¹s Œthird wave¹ of the sea
simile has been the most influential), both of which are seen to be much too
bound to the surface of things, too preoccupied with continuities and
aggregate data to notice that political tides have begun to run in entirely
new directions. The claim is that, from roughly the mid-twentieth century,
our world has been living through an historic sea change, one that is taking
us from the old world of representative democracy towards a form of monitory
democracy defined by the multiplication and dispersal of many different
power-monitoring and power-contesting mechanisms, both within the Œdomestic¹
fields of government and civil society and beyond, in cross-border settings
that were once dominated by empires, states and business organisations.
Concentrating on the growth of communicative abundance, the lecture raises
questions about the causes and causers of this new historical form of
democracy, its advantages and disadvantages, and why it has fundamental
research implications for the fields of media and politics, as well as
implications for how we think and practice democracy and journalism in the
coming decades. 
About Professor 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. In 1989 he founded the
Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD <http://www.wmin.ac.uk/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 in twentieth century Europe, Václav Havel: A
Political Tragedy in Six Acts (1999). Among his most recent works are
Violence and Democracy (2004), and Global Civil Society? (2003).
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). He was recently awarded a
Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust. The Times of London 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 ³one of the great intellectual exports from
A consultant to the United Nations and the Evolution of Global Values
project at the University of Leiden and 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 late
More details at: http://www.johnkeane.net/index.htm
About the Journalism and Media Centre
The Journalism and Media Research Centre is a new initiative of the Faculty
of Arts and Social Sciences. It undertakes research of high quality and
impact across the fields of journalism, communication, and media and makes a
significant contribution to public debate and policy. It will offer
rigorous, relevant and excellent education for postgraduate coursework and
research students.
More information at http://jmrc.arts.unsw.edu.au/
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