Sydney Democracy Network
Everything Political
November 2015
Everything Political lists all events of political interest in Sydney: both on and off campus and hosted by SDN, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the University of Sydney or other Sydney organisations. Please contact if you would like to list an event in next month's newsletter.
The Singapore Swing: authoritarian resilience in context of the 2015 general election
Singapore’s general elections were held in September 2015 shortly after the death of the anointed national ‘founder’ Lee Kuan Yew and during the 50th anniversary jubilee celebrations – giving the incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP) a significant advantage. Given the PAP’s relatively lacklustre electoral campaign, the PAP’s resounding electoral success took many by surprise. The long-serving party increased its popular vote by 9 per cent – garnering 70 per cent of the total vote and wrestling a seat from the opposition Workers' Party.

A panel of specialists will discuss the key factors which have contributed to the PAP’s electoral resilience and the implications of the recent ‘Singapore swing’ in political currents and trends in Southeast and Northeast Asia.

The event will also launch Dr Yeow-Tong Chia’s book Education, Culture and the Singapore Developmental State: “World-Soul” Lost and Regained? (Palgrave Macmillan 2015).

Click here for more information and to register

Power and accountability: a retreat-style meeting at USYD
What is accountability? Who should be accountable, for what, and to whom? Why is there a moral intuition that power and accountability should go together? What are the proper units of accountability?

The goal of this retreat-style meeting is to spark constructive debate on the relation between power and accountability, with participants who think about and work on questions of accountability from a range of perspectives. The mode of the meeting is dynamic and informal: quick-fire presentations of current projects and positions, with in-depth discussion the priority. 

Click here for more information and to register

Accountability: why do we need it and how do we get it?
Hosted by Sydney Ideas, co-presented with the Power and Accountability Network in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Sydney Democracy Network

When we hear the words ‘power’ and ‘accountability’ our thoughts may go first to high-stakes political and legal realms. Edward Snowden’s recent actions, whose global consequences are still playing out, were motivated by his dismay at the ‘divorce of power from accountability’ in state-sanctioned behaviour. Our simplest moral intuitions tell us that it is wrong to operate freely without ever having to reveal or explain one’s reasons for action. This is true not only at large scales of history and state, but also in realms of human agency at all levels.

Who should be accountable, for what, and to whom? Why is there a moral intuition that with power should come accountability? In short: What is accountability? Why do we need it and how do we get it?

Click here for more information and to register

Monday 2 November
Sydney Southeast Asia Centre | My Blue Heaven
Film screening

Tuesday 3 November
HARN | What's to Celebrate?: animal welfare and the Melbourne Cup
Speakers: Phil McManus,  Anne Fawcett, James Serpella and Marie A. Moore

Sydney Ideas | Why Animals have become a Social Issue
Speaker: James Serpell

Sydney Ideas | The Future of China through Chinese Science Fiction
Speakers: Liu Cixin, Song Mingwei

Wednesday 4 November
Lowy Institute | Book Launch: The G20 and the Future of International Economic Governmance
Speakers: Mike Callaghan and Tristram Sainsbury

AIIA NSW | Comrade Ambassador: Whitlam's Beijing Envoy
Speakers: Stephen FitzGerald and Jocelyn Chey

Sydney Southeast Asia Centre | The Singapore Swing: authoritarian resilience in the 2015 general election
Speakers: Yeow-Tong Chia, Lily Rahim, James Chin and Jason Lim

Sydney Ideas | The Perils and Power of Political Satire
Speakers: Bassem Youssef and Chris Taylor

Thursday 5 November
China Studies Centre | The Reception of I Ching 易经 in the West: some reflections
Speaker: John Minford

SDN | Power and Accountability: a retreat-style meeting at USYD
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Collaborative Research Network

Sydney Ideas | Accountability: why do we need it and how do we get it?

Speakers: Peter Fray, Susan Park, Charles Firth and Aim Sinpeng

Politics in the Pub | The Commonwealth Homelessness Bill: progress, resistance and rhetoric
Speakers: Katherine McKernan and Mary Perkins 

Saturday 7 November
Global Social Justice Network | The Tibetan Freedom Movement
Speakers: Pema Yoko and Dorjee Tseten

Monday 9 November
Sydney Environment Institute | The Dynamics of Food Access in Sydney's Afghan Community
Speaker: Luke Craven

Tuesday 10 November
Sydney Peace Foundation | Sydney Peace Prize
Speaker: George Gittoes 

Wednesday 11 November
Lowy Institute | 2015 Owen Harries Lecture, Navigating a Contested Geopolitical Landscape
Speaker: Shyam Saran

Sydney Ideas | The Dismissal: 40 years later
Speaker: Andrew West, Harshan Kumarasingham, Anne Twomey and James Curran

Thursday 12 November
Sydney Ideas | Mobile and Social Media in Southeast Asia
Speakers: Heather Horst,  Sun Sun Lim, Rich Ling, Cheryll Ruth Soriano, Aim Sinpeng and Gerard Goggin

Politics in the Pub | The Ongoing Saga of Oppression of Tibetans: why China's human rights record continues to decline
Speakers: Tenpa Dugdak and Karen Collier

Monday 16 November
Centre for International Security Studies | Book Launch: 'Deadly Encounters: how infectious desease helped shape Australia'
Speaker: Peter Curson

Tuesday 17 November
AIIA NSW | An Evening with the Interns
Speakers: Adam Csenger, Lewis Graham, Jawoon Kim, Noel Kwon and William Read

Wednesday 18 November 
Balmain Institute | Media Bias and Media Steteotyping
Speaker: Peter Manning

Thursday 19 November
Centre for International Security Studies | Images and International Relations Workshop
Co-hosted with the Department of Government and International Relations
Monday 23 November
AIIA NSW | Truth and Lies: Australia and Boat People
Speaker: Julian Burnside

Tuesday 24 November
Sydney Environment Institute | Bodies, Caring, Eating: gender in food provisioning 
Speakers: Julie Guthman and Annemarie Mol

Thursday 26 November
Lowy Institute | Free Trade Agreement: transformative, terrible or tedious?
Speaker: Leon Berkelmans

AIIA NSW | 2015 Charteris Dinner & Oration
Speaker: Gillian Triggs

Friday 27 November
Lowy Institute | The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Leader of the Opposition 
Speaker: Bill Shorten

Recently Published Articles
SDN Democracy Futures on The Conversation

October 22, 2015 More technology doesn’t mean less inequality
Aim SinpengUniversity of Sydney

October 15, 2015 Flipped elections: can recalls improve democracy?Anthoula MalkopoulouUppsala University

September 17, 2015 Iran: how a troubling actor could transform into a stabilising force
Naser GhobadzadehAustralian Catholic University

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