Sydney Democracy Network
Everything Political
April 2017
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.
Democracy Futures | The Spirit of Democracy
In common usage, modern democracy falls back on a sovereign people. It refers to a form of government where the people has the ultimate authority to decide the direction and substance of democratic law. In the book manuscript The Spirit of Democracy, I argue that this familiar interpretation fails to capture what is radical and promising about the political project set in motion by the revolutions in the late eighteenth century, and how it may be reinvigorated to counter the corruption of democratic practices and ideals. Read more

Associate Professor Sofia Näsström 

When: 12:30-2:00pm Wednesday 12 April 2017
Where: S226 Seminar Room, Department of Media and Communications, John Woolley Building (A20) level 2, The University of Sydney

Light lunch will be provided, please register here for catering purposes.

Democracy Futures | China's War on the Past: History in the People's Republic of Amnesia

‘History is the best textbook’ is one of the favourite phrases of China’s President Xi Jinping, yet only one version of history is acceptable in today’s China. Since 2012, the ruling Communist party has made radical efforts to tighten its control over history, even bringing lawsuits against those seen guilty of ‘historical nihilism’. This battle to control historical memory can be clearly seen in attempts to curb even private commemorations of the uprising and bloody crackdown of 1989 and silence public comment on the topic. Over time, the events of June 4th 1989 have become more, not less sensitive. Read more

Dr Louisa Lim 

When: 12:30-2:00pm Wednesday 26 April 2017
Where: S226 Seminar Room, Department of Media and Communications, John Woolley Building (A20) level 2, The University of Sydney

Light lunch will be provided, please register here for catering purposes.

Post-Truth Seminar Series 2017

Seminar 2 | Computational Approaches to Misinformation 

Recent technologies, particularly social networking, have often been blamed for dismantling conventional notions of authority and credibility.  Technology is, in turn, a likely part of the solution.  This seminar will review some of the computational approaches to understanding and managing the mediation of truth in the social networking era.  Topics covered include models of how memes spread and mutate, automatically identifying linguistic indicators of factuality and uncertainty, and tools for fact-checking. Register here

Dr Joel Nothman

Seminar 3 | Truth, Rigour and Fraud in Academic Research 

This week the seminar series shifts its focus onto the issue of truth and rigour in academic research. Professor Jennifer Byrne will be examining processes of peer review and the increasingly competitive research environment in order to evaluate the role of truth in the research and publication arena. Professor Byrne will be situating a broader discussion on the adverse consequences of impairing trust in academic research in her own case study research on research fraud in pre-clinical research publications. Register here 

Professor Jennifer Byrne

When: 10am - 11:30am Thursday 30 March and 13 April 2017
Where: Rogers Room N397, Level 3 of the John Wooley Building (A20), The University of Sydney

Light morning tea will be provided. Please register for catering purposes.

Populism: what’s next for democracy?
Symposium at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis

Representative democracy almost everywhere is besieged by populist movements, parties and governments. The new populism attacks ‘the establishment’ for having let ‘the people’ down by allowing globalism to run wild. It relies on exceptional leaders to serve as the embodiment of “We the People’, and it stirs up anxieties about anarchic competitive growth, state-enforced austerity policies, increasing immigration, growing inequalities and recurrent economic crises tendencies. Read more

When: 9am-5pm Thursday 6-7 April 2017
Where: Ann Harding Conference Centre, Building 24, University of Canberra
SDN on The Conversation
March 23, 2017
How the Spanish political laboratory is reconfiguring democracy
Ramón Andrés FeenstraUniversitat Jaume IAndreu Casero-RipollesUniversitat Jaume IJohn KeaneUniversity of Sydney, and Simon TormeyUniversity of Sydney
Spain has been transformed into a democratic laboratory, where the participation and use of new communication strategies are ready for experimentation and innovation.

March 20, 2017
Secrecy on land titles registry sale helps keep bidders’ tax haven links quiet
Michael WestUniversity of SydneySo on the nose is the proposal to auction off the NSW Land and Property Information Office via a 30-year lease that the Law Society, the Real Estate Institute and the Institute of Surveyors oppose it.

March 14, 2017
Gas crisis? Or glut? Why Japan pays less for Australian LNG than Australians do
Michael WestUniversity of Sydney
Over-cooked forecasts for demand have justified excessive spending and higher prices. This is precisely what the gas cartel wants: the spectre of shortages whipping up prices.

March 9, 2017
Democracy needs more trees and less Trump
John DryzekUniversity of Canberra
If people are starting to look much worse in democratic terms, trees are starting to look much better. We are learning that plants engage in meaningful and, more to the point, truthful communication.

March 7, 2017
Hidden fees and the lowdown on Macquarie’s latest way to make money
Michael WestUniversity of Sydney
For those who might wish to check if they are being swatted unwittingly with undisclosed or barely disclosed fees on their investments, there appears to be one solid approach to take: ring up and ask.

February 28, 2017
Multinational tax dodgers are the real leaners
Michael WestUniversity of Sydney
Nowhere is the impotence of politicians and regulators more costly than in their failure to stand up to multinational corporations dodging tax.
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Friday 31 March 2017
Media@Sydney | Digital Technology, Social Justice, Rights, and Democracy

In Conversation with Jack Linchuan Qiu

Monday 3 April 2017
Sydney Ideas | How Change Happens?
Speaker: Duncan Green

Tuesday 4 April 2017
The US Studies Centre | Trumping Trade: Understanding the Australia-US Economic Relationship
Speakers: Kim Beazley, Gordon Flake and Ian Satchwell

Sydney Ideas | The Trump Administration and the Future of US Environmental Law
Speaker: Robert L Glicksman

Lowy Institute | The Forgotten Dimension: Climate Change and National Security
Speakers: Sherri Goodman, Ian Dunlop and Alan Dupont

AIIA NSW | New Reflections on North Korea
Speaker: Michael Kirby

Wednesday 5 April 2017
UTS | Famelab NSW Semi-final
Speaker: Sarina Kilham

Lowy Institute | A Wary Embrace: What the China-Russia Relationship Means for the World
Speaker: Bobo Lo

Lowy Institute | Citizens’ Wealth: Why Citizens Should Win the Battle for Control Over Sovereign Wealth
Speakers: Angela Cummine, David Murray, Paul Clearly and John Edwards

Thursday 6 April 2017
Politics in the Pub | Do Political Cartoonists Have Influence?
Speakers: Glen le Lievre and John Shakespeare

Sydney Ideas | Hot in the City: Climate and Health in Urban Environments
Speakers: Tony Capon, Adrienne Keane, Ollie Jay and Jennifer Mae Hamilton

Thursday 6-7 April 2017
Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis | Populism: What’s Next for Democracy?
A two-day symposium on populism and democracy in Canberra

Monday 10 April 2017
China Studies Centre | Workshop: Mining for History: Minerals and Metals in the Old World
Speakers:  Mei Jianjun, Lloyd Weeks, Graham Sylvester, David Frankel and Alison Betts

Sydney Ideas | A Most Enterprising Country: How the Surprising Business Acumen of North Korea Lets It Survive
Speaker: Justin Hastings

Wednesday 12 April 2017
China Studies Centre Monthly Seminar | Dr Joseph Needham and His Intellectual Heritage
Speaker: Jianjun Mei

Sydney Ideas | Trapped in/Pushed Out: Border Politics in the US and Australia
Speakers: David FitzGerald, Graham Thom, Michelle Peterie and Behrouz Boochani

SDN Democracy Futures | The Spirit of Democracy
Speaker: Sofia Näsström

The US Studies Centre | Is Janet Malcolm Friendly?
Speaker: Dan Dixon

Thursday 13 April 2017
Department of Political Economy | Women, Work and Care in the Asia Pacific: Work/care Regimes in a Context of Extreme Inequality
Speaker: Elizabeth Hill

Thursday 20 April 2017
Politics in the Pub | Increasing Inequality or Basic Income for All?
Speaker: Ben Spies-Butcher

Saturday 22 April 2017
Evatt Foundation | H.V. Evatt Memorial Dinner 2017 with Stan Grant
Speaker: Stan Grant

Wednesday 26 April 2017
Institute for Social Justice | Masterclass Series – Discourse Analysis
Speaker: Magdalena Zolkos

Sydney Environment Institute | Cultivating Our Campus: Exploring How Universities Can Build More Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems
Speakers: Sinead Boylan, Tracey Ho, Sophie Lamond and Alana Mann

SDN Democracy Futures | China's War on the Past; History in the People's Republic of Amnesia
Speaker: Louisa Lim

The US Studies Centre | St. Augustine High School and the Spectre of Teen Activism in New Orleans, 1961-1963
Speaker: Christopher Coady 

Thursday 27 April 2017
Department of Political Economy | Ruling the Interregnum: Economic Ideas and Authority in Non-hegemonic Times
Speaker: Rune Møller Stahl

Politics in the Pub | Saudi Arabia: A Partner in War and Oppression in the Middle East
Speakers: Michael Brull and Mike Karadjis

Friday 28 April 2017
Sydney Ideas | Human Rights and the Rise of Islamophobia: Academic Responses in the Age of Populist Anger and Fear
Speakers: Gillian Triggs and Samina Yasmeen


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