Sydney Democracy Network

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...

Latest News


    Docos for Politicos film series is presented by the Centre for International Security Studies (CISS) in collaboration with the United States Studies Centre (USSC) and the Australian Political Studies Association (APSA), headlining this year A EUGENE JARECKI RETROSPECTIVE.

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Docos for Politicos Film Series will be screening in Room 225, at the Quadrangle Building A14 and Eugene Jarecki Retrospective at the Chemistry Lecture Theatre 3, Chemistry Building F11.

  • Professor James Der Derian discusses historian Barbara Tuchman's book on the WWI "The Guns of August" on ABC Radio

    Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August was a suprisingly popular book that won the Pulitzer prize after its publication in 1962. in it, Tuchman describes in great detail the opening events of the WWI conflict. So, what were the effects and lessons learned from this major world event? CISS Director, Professor James Der Derian, was interviewed about the significance of The Guns of August for contemporary global politics. Margaret MacMillan, Professor of History at St. Anthony's College in Oxford, and Anthony D'Agostino, Professor of History at San Francisco State University, were also among those interviewed.

  • Democracy Cannot Exist without Social Cohesion: The Myanmar Challenge

    SDN associate Jonathan Bogais discusses the interplay of two religious traditions within a social and cultural setting that is dominated by one religion and characterized by structural and political violence. It begins with an overview of some vexed laws proposed to protect race and religion and then examines the social, cultural, and political background to this long-lasting sectarian conflict. The essay concludes with a look at civil society’s struggle to evolve in this context.

  • Call for Papers: New Threats to Democracy

    One day workshop, 5 December 2014, organised by Australian Catholc University and La Trobe University in Melbourne. Submission deadline for abstracts: 15 September.

  • Welcome Dr Aiko Wagner and Dr Marc Helbling

    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.

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