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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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Podcasts

Three elections and a hypothesis

22 January 2015

The Coalition lost in Victoria and looks like doing less well than expected in Queensland and New South Wales. Peter Clarke discusses why, and what it says about the Liberal Party, with Brian Costar, Sally Young and Peter Brent

Right:

Three to go: Queensland premier Campbell Newman, NSW premier Mike Baird and prime minister Tony Abbott embark on an early morning run at Parliament House before the Council of Australian Governments meeting last May. Lukas Coch/AAP Image

Three to go: Queensland premier Campbell Newman, NSW premier Mike Baird and prime minister Tony Abbott embark on an early morning run at Parliament House before the Council of Australian Governments meeting last May. Lukas Coch/AAP Image