PODCAST | Four words, four faces of democracy

Q & A


In politics, as in life, words really matter. They are more than signposts by which we find our bearings, make sense of the world, and live our lives. Words have wings; agents of power, they take us places. They can bring us greater clarity, but they can also corrupt our thinking, lead us into confusion, or worse.

Especially in times of political upheaval, suggest the contributors to this public forum, paying careful attention to key words in public circulation becomes vital. Words such as ambivalence, resentment, cynicism and hope teach us much about why present-day democracy is on desolation row. They help us understand the causes and contours of its deepening crisis, the reasons why it breeds ambivalence, resentment and cynicism among citizens and why, against tremendous odds, the small word hope may provide a key to facing up to the worsening troubles faced by practically every democracy on our planet.

Chair: Benedetta Brevini, Department of Media and Communications

Ambivalence: Adele Webb, Sydney Democracy Network

Resentment: Robert van Krieken, Department of Sociology

Cynicism: Rick Benitez, Department of Philosophy

Hope: John Keane, Sydney Democracy Network