The Citizenship Lab Presents: The Shortest History of Democracy

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Speaker: John Keane (Professor of Politics at University of Sydney and the WZB)
Date & Time: April 8, 9am China time
Meeting ID: 980 8284 0378

Abstract: In a time of grave uncertainty about the future of our planet, the radical potential of democracy is more important than ever. From its beginnings in Syria-Mesopotamia – and not Athens – to its role in fomenting revolutionary fervour in France and America, democracy has subverted fixed ways of deciding who should enjoy power and privilege, and why. For democracy encourages people to do something radical: to come together as equals, to determine their own lives and futures. In tracing democracy’s byzantine history, John Keane gives new reasons why democracy is a precious global ideal, and shows that as the world has come to be shaped by democracy, it has grown more worldly. In an age of cascading crises, we need the radical potential of democracy more than ever. Does it have a future, or will the demagogues and despots win? We are about to find out.

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