september, 2016

02sep5:00 pm7:00 pmEvent OverFeaturedFESTIVAL OF DEMOCRACY | We the People5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Event Organized By: Sydney Democracy Network

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Event Details

Chaired by Simon Tormey

Populism is everywhere on the rise. Why is this happening? Why are the peddlers of populism proving so popular? Are there deep forces driving the spread of their style of politics, and what, if anything, has populism to do with democracy? Is it its ‘essence’, as some maintain? Is the new populism therefore to be welcomed, harnessed and ‘mainstreamed’ in support of more democracy? Or is populism on balance politically dangerous, a cultish recipe for renewing what George Orwell termed the ‘smelly little orthodoxies’ that feed big and bossy power?

*Refreshments will be provided after the talk.

Image: Diego Rivera, 1935


Henrik BangHenrik Bang

Henrik is Professor in Governance at the ANZSOG Institute for Governance, University of Canberra. He came to UC from the University of Copenhagen, Department of Political Science. Henrik writes extensively within the fields of governance and political participation, and has contributed significantly to the international debate with his concepts of Everyday Makers, Expert Citizens, culture governance and policy-politics. He has applied his thinking to public debates in his many years as director of COS (Centre for Organization and Management) in the Copenhagen Business School, and as co-director of MODINET (Centre of Media and Democracy in the Network Society) at the University of Copenhagen, Amager in the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication.

markMark Chou

From ancient Greek tragedy to the contemporary politics of democratisation in China, Dr Mark Chou, ACU’s Lecturer in Politics, is an interdisciplinary political scientist who draws his inspiration from international relations, cultural studies and political philosophy. His current research examines the issue of democratic failure. “Few scholars of democratisation study democratic failure for its own sake,” he says. “For the most, democracy experts only consider democratic termination with a view to better consolidating weak and failing democracies. And even fewer are examining the prospect that the processes of democracy can often be implicated in democracy’s own downfall.”


Anika Gauja anika

Anika’s research interests broadly centre on the comparative analysis of political institutions in modern representative democracies. Her work to date has looked at the operation of political parties and parliaments, assessing the continuing relevance of these institutions as mechanisms for citizen participation in politics and their ability to represent diverse and conflicting interests. She is particularly interested in how political parties adapt to organizational and social change. Anika also researches in the areas of comparative party law and electoral regulation. Anika has published in political science and law journals, both within Australia and internationally, including the Australian Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Legislative StudiesParliamentary AffairsParty Politics and the Public Law Review.

BenjaminMoffittBen Moffitt 

Dr Benjamin Moffitt is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Political Science at Stockholm University. His postdoctoral research revolves around developing the concept of ‘transnational populism’ as a way of understanding recent populist characterisations of ‘the people’ that go beyond the limits of national boundaries. These new characterisations are intricately tied to important shifts in the global political, technological & mediatic landscapes, & present new challenges for understanding populism’s relationship to representation, sovereignty and democracy. He is the author of The Global Rise of Populism, Stanford University Press, 2016.


RackMultipart20140407-28612-lghgo2Nick Rowley

Nick Rowley is an Adjunct Professor at the Sydney Democracy Network at the University of Sydney. He currently works as a strategic policy consultant to a mix of business and NGO clients in Australia and overseas. Over the past fifteen years, Nick has worked at the centre of government on sustainability, climate change and broader policy and political strategy in Australia and the UK. In these roles he developed new policy approaches in a number of areas from the funding of cutting-edge medical research, protecting public lands bordering Sydney Harbour to helping establish the seminal Stern Review into the Economics of Climate Change.



Profile Pic WEBBAH-520x430Adele Webb

Adele is a PhD candidate in the Department of Government and International Relations, supervised by Professor John Keane (University of Sydney) and Dr Rosanne Rutten (University of Amsterdam), and supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award. Adele’s thesis draws on both political theory and political sociology to revisit the theme of the middle classes and democracy. Using a longitudinal case study of the Philippines, including archival documentary research and interviews, the research examines how past conflicts, historical structures and the lived experience of democracy in the Philippines have figured into, shaped, or contained the democratic imaginary of Filipino middle classes. The study hopes to contribute to a ‘de-westernising’ of democratic theory and the development of new insights more helpful in understanding the relationship of middle classes to democracy in a contemporary global context.


(Friday) 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Law Lounge, Level 1

New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney


Sydney Democracy