The New Despotism

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20 August 2020, online at 6pm Sydney time

Speaker: Professor John Keane, University of Sydney

In our first online event, Professor Keane will discuss his recently released book, The New Despotism.

The event is free, but registration is essential to gain access to this webinar.

In a disturbing in-depth exposé of the antidemocratic practices of despotic governments now sweeping the world, in this book John Keane* shows how governments from Russia and China through Central Asia to the Middle East and Europe have mastered a formidable combination of political tools that threaten the established ideals and practices of power-sharing democracy. He casts doubt on such fashionable terms as dictatorship, autocracy, fascism, and authoritarianism – instead making a case for retrieving and refurbishing the old term ‘despotism’ to make sense of how these regimes function and endure.

To discuss the ideas that he advances in the book, the panel in conversation with Professor Keane will be the Chief Investigators for our research project, Associate Professor Adam Czarnota and Professor Martin Krygier, both of the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law, and Professor Wojciech Sadurski of the University of Sydney.

Our project is co-hosting this talk with the Network for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law.

*John Keane is Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney, Australia and at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin. His books include 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 Václav Havel: A Political Tragedy in Six Acts (1999). His more recent works include Democracy and Media Decadence (2013) (with Wolfgang Merkel and others), The Future of Representative Democracy (2010), Violence and Democracy (2004) and Global Civil Society? (2003).

The event is free, but registration is essential to gain access to this webinar.