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About John Keane

John Keane is Director of the newly-founded Sydney Democracy Network (SDN) at the University of Sydney and Professor of Politics at the WZB in Berlin. He is the author of Democracy and Media Decadence (2013) and his The Life and Death of Democracy (2009) has just appeared in Japanese translation.


Articles by John Keane

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Understanding the Chinese Communist Party: a conversation with Yu Keping

The challenges of changing a revolutionary party into a ruling party, as seen by no new Martin Luther, but a modernist.

Two bob each way on democracy: book review

The author of The Life and Death of Democracy reviews The Confidence Trap: A history of democracy in crisis from World War 1 to the present by David Runciman (Princeton, 2013).

At a knife’s edge: elections and democracy in Thailand

The Kingdom of Thailand, and the wider region in which it stands, resembles a global political laboratory. It is a 21st-century testing ground, a place where the future of democracy is being decided, slowly but surely. So watch what happens there, carefully.

Lou Reed: Rock ‘n Roll democracy

He sang of dirt, all the while insisting that life is love, a feeling so important that anyone with a heart wouldn't ever turn around and break the heart of others.

Cities in the future of democracy

Today’s cities perch people far off the ground. They block sight of the stars. So we’re faced with a completely different task: re-embedding our cities into our biosphere. Interview.

A short history of banks and democracy

The extraordinary bounce-back of the banks reveals the most disturbing, but least obvious, largely invisible, feature of the unfinished European crisis: the transformation of democratic taxation states into post-democratic banking states.

Refolution in the Arab world

A new word is needed to describe these events of recent months. They should be called ‘refolutions’, radical refusals of the old choice between reform and revolution - remarkably sensitive to the grave dangers and high costs of using violent means to get their way

Libya, intellectuals and democracy: an open letter to Professor David Held

John Keane asks David Held to look back over events and reconsider his reactions to a dissimulator. Was this an error of theory or of practice? Hasn’t the LSE Libya affair done damage to the scholarly credibility of research programmes in the area of democracy?
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