In matters of democracy, ignorance about the past breeds misunderstandings of the present, sometimes with damaging effects on visions of what democracy might become in the future. What is needed is sharpened awareness of the historicity of its spirit, language and institutions, not for antiquarian reasons, but for the purpose of heightening our awareness that democracy
Václav Havel has died aged 75. A poet and playwright, a political writer, dissident and a politician, Havel was the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia, and the first President of the Czech Republic founded in 1993. The Conversation spoke with Sydney University Professor of Politics John Keane, author of Václav Havel: A Political Tragedy [...]
At the Byron Bay Writers Festival, in conversation with Griffith Review Editor Julianne Schultz, Professor John Keane talks us through the rise and fall of democracies and empires, from a primarily historical perspective.
Dr. Bridget Cotter interviews John Keane, 9 June – CSD Bulletin, Summer 2010 John Keane discusses the reception of The Life and Death of Democracy in an interview with Bridget Cotter. This interview was published in the CSD Bulletin, Summer, 2010, Double Issue Vol. 17 NOs. 1 & 2, University of Westminster Press. Download the [...]
This essay in Spanish appeared in the Revista Encuentros Uruguayos Año II, Número 2, Noviembre 2009, pp. 208-220 In English the text was published in James Tully (ed.), 1988, Meaning and Context: Quentin Skinner and His Critics, Princeton University Press. Chapter 12, pp. 204-17 Revista Encuentros Uruguayos Año II, Número 2, Noviembre 2009 Otras tesis [...]
Democracy did not emerge as an historical inevitability, John Keane tells Peter Clarke
We fight wars to defend it, vote to uphold it and pride ourselves upon it. But what’s so good about democracy?
Resembling laboratories where experiments are conducted in the art of handling, sharing and humbling power, cities have always played a vital role in the history of democracy. London – a bubbling democratic cauldron of differences – is no exception.
Origins Democracy commonly refers to a type of political system in which the people or their representatives lawfully govern themselves, rather than being governed, say, by a military dictatorship, totalitarian party or monarch. In recent decades, democracy in this sense has enjoyed unprecedented popularity. Democracy has become one of those English words – along with [...]
The Times Higher Education Supplement, 4/11/2005 Cambridge University, Press, 305pp, £45.00 and £16.99. Systematic reflection on the transition to democracy – on the problem of how democratic institutions can be built and sustained – came relatively late in the history of democracy. Beginning with Plato, Thucydides and others, intellectual energy was mostly invested in attacking [...]