Adele Webb 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.
This work builds upon seven years as researcher, lobbyist and strategist in the global justice movement, including five years as director of Sydney-based NGO Jubilee Australia, and experience working with civil society in Southern Africa and the Philippines. Adele has degrees in Law and History from the University of New South Wales, Development Studies from the University of South Africa, and a Masters in Political Sociology from the London School of Economics.