Inside Story

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145 words

Podcasts

Will democracy survive?

15 September 2009

Democracy did not emerge as an historical inevitability, John Keane tells Peter Clarke

Right:

George Grote, an influential proponent of the view that democracy was born in Athens.

George Grote, an influential proponent of the view that democracy was born in Athens.



THERE ARE some shocks in John Keane's latest book, The Life and Death of Democracy. First, he punctures the “democracy started in Athens” myth – “assembly democracy,” he writes, was practised much earlier and further east. But a bigger jolt comes from his thesis that democracy did not emerge as an historical inevitability. It was an invention at a certain time and place, not a natural state of human power-sharing. And its survival as a system of government in the twenty-first century is far from secure.

John Keane is Professor of Politics at the University of Westminster and the Wissenschaftszentrum in Berlin. He took part in a debate, "Does Democracy Have a Future?", at the 2009 Melbourne Writer's Festival, where Peter Clarke spoke with him about democracy's surprising past, challenging present and uncertain future.

Podcast theme created by Ivan Clarke, Pang Productions.

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104 words

Podcasts

Rob Oakeshott: Why I became an independent

25 August 2010

In this interview with Terry Lane, first broadcast on ABC Radio National’s The National Interest in 2002, Rob Oakeshott discusses why he joined the Nationals, and why he left

Right:

Not happy with the National Party’s “white-shoe brigade”: Rob Oakeshott (above), independent federal member for Lyne, New South Wales.

Not happy with the National Party’s “white-shoe brigade”: Rob Oakeshott (above), independent federal member for Lyne, New South Wales.