By Elaine Pearson, Wendy Bacon, Gemma Pitcher, Jeremy Donovan, Stephanie Hankey and Marek Tuszynski
Based at the University of Sydney, SDN is a new initiative preoccupied with the new, exciting and dangerous political trends of our times. The researchers, lecturers, activists, journalists and policy makers associated with SDN come from different walks of life and have a diverse range of interests, but they all see themselves as concerned citizens sharing the same goal: to rethink, strengthen and transform the ideals and practices of democracy. Guided by a strong sense of context and history, they see democracy as both a form of government and a way of life committed to greater equality and the practical refusal of publicly unaccountable power.
SDN supports enquiries into a rich variety of subjects, including networked politics, online mobilisation and the future of journalism in a media-saturated world; global public disaffection with representative government; political ethics; surveillance technologies; the gendering of politics; democratic deficits within cross-border governing institutions; and environmental movements, corporate power and the fate of our biosphere Read more...
The Sydney Democracy Network enjoys international linkages with with several institutions, including Germany's leading social science research institute, the WZB. One of the highlights of the linkage is the postdoctoral fellowship exchange. We are pleased to welcome the 2014 visiting postdoctoral fellows from Berlin, Dr Aiko Wagner and Dr Marc Helbling.
The Antarctica Futures project at the University of Sydney is seeking to address these issues. Recently we brought together a group of academics and practitioners to discuss questions regarding sovereignty and Antarctica: how it manifests itself now, and how it might into the future. The following is a excerpt of a round table discussion of these issues.
The following field notes grapple with the problem of how to understand the emergent polity of Antarctica, and why its break with the language and politics of sovereignty is of global significance. The remarks were prepared for a workshop hosted by the Antarctica Futures project, Sydney Democracy Network, University of Sydney, Tuesday 10th June, 2014.
During the month of September, the Sydney Democracy Network will be hosting a month-long carnival of talks, lectures, workshops, art and cinema probing and debating the latest scholarly thinking and formidable practical challenges facing democracy across the globe. Open to the general public, with contributions covering regions as diverse as the Asia Pacific, Europe and Antarctica, the Festival will feature such topics as journalism in the age of digital networks; the lack of public accountability of Australia’s extractive industries; corruption and political instability in China; and the future role of renewable energy resources and the future of democracy in the 21st century.
In the spring months of 1989, millions of citizens occupied hundreds of Chinese cities demanding an end to government corruption and authoritarian rule. The uprisings were crushed by troops and agents of the People’s Liberation Army. To commemorate the 25th anniversary, Sydney Democracy Network together with the Australian Institute of International Affairs (NSW Branch) and the China Democracy Forum, held a special event at NSW Parliament House. The evening featured poems, photography, videos and a range of contributors, including Geremie Barmé, Kerry Brown, Rowan Callick, Tsebin Tchen, Chee Soon Juan, Jocelyn Chey, Jon von Kowallis, Murong Xuecun, Sun Baoqiang and Wang Xu.
Read contributions and view images from the night on SDN's Tiananmen 25 commemorative page.
2014 Festival of Democracy - 1 September 2014 to 30 September 2014
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