Sydney Democracy Network
Everything Political
June 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 in a Time of Misery: from Slow Violence to Democratic Politics

Misery rarely features in conversations about democracy. Much has been said about democracy and inequality, democracy and authoritarianism, and democracy and justice but little about the relationship between democracy and widespread suffering. This presentation is based on a book project that attempts to place misery at the centre of the study of democratic practice. By drawing on a three-year ethnographic study of disaster-affected communities in the Philippines, the presentation examines how ‘communities of misery’ embody, perform, contest and lose interest in democracy. Read more

Dr Nicole Curato

When: 5:00-6:30pm Thursday 1 June 2017
Where: Western Tower Room, Quadrangle Building, the University of Sydney

Please register here
Democracy Futures | Quantum: the Next Permanent Revolution?
In 1917 the Bolshevik leadership hitched its political platform to what they believed to be an inevitable historical process driven by scientific and industrial transformations: a permanent revolution. Conceived by Marx, elaborated by Trotsky and operationalized by Mao, the concept of permanent revolution has a chequered past. In practice, permanent revolution proved terribly but also creatively destructive, destroying ancien regimes and whole populations as well as producing new modes of warfare and statecraft. Read more

Professor James Der Derian 

When: 12:30-2:00pm Wednesday 7 June 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.

On the Origins of Environmental Bullshit: The producers and beneficiaries of post-truth in the environmental arena
This seminar lays out one of the projects under the Sydney Post-Truth Initiative, on the political use of falsehoods, obfuscation, and denialism on a range of environmental issues. It’s about the politics of the Bull, rather than the nature of the Shit. Rather than focus on post-truth as an idea and utterance, the focus here is on tracing the political motivations and processes around the use of post-truth discourse. Read more

Professor David Schlosberg

 10.00-11.30am Thursday 8 June 2017
Where: Rogers Room N397, Level 3, John Woolley Building, the University of Sydney
SDN Recommends

20 June | Turning Urban: Strengths and Vulnerabilities of China’s Collectives in the Process of Urbanisation

Professor Luigi Tomba
What does it mean to urbanise? Are industrialisation and urbanisation two aspects of the same process? How do villages have a chance to thrive if a state is determined to urbanise the country?

29-30 June | The Figure of the Citizen in Times of Crisis: Disappearing, Emerging and Reimagined

A workshop sponsored by the Australian Political Studies Association, and in partnership with the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney, and the Sydney Democracy Network.

SDN on The Conversation
May 30, 2017
Tax take shrinks as online accommodation agents rake it in
Michael WestUniversity of Sydney

Australian authorities have allowed predatory online travel agents to shrink their tax base while penalising Australian accommodation operators thanks to onerous commissions and vanishing competition

May 30, 2017
Trump demands a post-post-truth response
James Der DerianUniversity of Sydney

Pundits have been keen to link post-truth to post-modernists, post-positivists or any other 'postie'. They should turn their energy to forming a real popular front against Trump's faux populism.

May 23, 2017
Report: government won’t rule out underwriting Adani’s Carmichael coal mine
Michael WestUniversity of Sydney

If the government were to provide loan insurance or loan guarantees, the banks might be more inclined to fund Adani. Taxpayers would then be at risk for the estimated $10 billion in project finance.

May 22, 2017
The weather is now political
Astrida NeimanisUniversity of Sydney and Jennifer HamiltonUniversity of Sydney

Thinking about climate change as a process of 'weathering' reminds us of the profound and highly unequal consequences for all living things.

May 15, 2017
Wondering if health fund premium rises are justified? Don’t look to Bupa’s accounts for answers
Michael WestUniversity of Sydney

Health insurance is yet another sector that is subsidised by taxpayers yet whose financial disclosures are murky to the point of deception.

May 15, 2017
Navigating the post-truth debate: some key co-ordinates
Nick EnfieldUniversity of Sydney

Beneath simple labels like post-truth, alternative facts and fake news is a complex set of issues. Any debate about the problems needs to start from some common points of reference.

May 10, 2017
Senate inquiry told zero tax or royalties paid on Australia’s biggest new gas projects
Michael WestUniversity of Sydney

The Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance has heard stunning evidence about the failure of the tax and royalties system to capture any of the billions being generated by new projects.

May 2, 2017
Google, Facebook fall into line on tax, but eBay remains defiant
Michael WestUniversity of Sydney

eBay still deems its Australian business to be a Swiss business and thereby avoids millions in income tax and GST.

May 1, 2017
From bakery to wagashiya: a textbook case of ‘moral education’ in Japan
Kei NishiyamaUniversity of Canberra

The changes required of a textbook that referred to a bakery – an “inappropriate” form of Japanese culture – illustrate how the system falls short of its goals of deliberative and critical education.
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Thursday 1 June 2017
China Studies Centre | Defining Qualities: New Research on Gender in Modern Chinese History and Literature
Speakers: Antonia Finnane, Anne McLaren and Paola Zamperini

SDN | Democracy in a Time of Misery: from Slow Violence to Democratic Politics
Speaker: Nicole Curato

Department of Political Economy | Governing Global Capitalism in the Era of Total War
Speaker: Jamie Martin

Politics in the Pub | Centrelink's Robo Debt Recovery Scheme
Speakers: Nadine Flood and Alec Pemberton

Saturday 3 June 2017
Evatt Foundation | Inaugural NSW Labor History Symposium
Speaker: John Faulkner

Monday 5 June 2017
UNSW Arts & Social Sciences | An Exploration of Female Right-wing extremism in Germany
Speaker: Michaela Köttig

Sydney Ideas | Film Screening: A Plastic Ocean
Watch the trailer here

Sydney Ideas | Civil Wars: a History in Ideas
Speakers: David Armitage, Maartje Abbenhuis, Eleanor Cowan, Andrew Fitzmaurice, Duncan Ivison and Ben Saul

Tuesday 6 June 2017
Sydney Ideas | Food@Sydney Series: Eating in the City
Speakers: David Schlosberg, Allison Heller and Rhiannon Cook

AIIA NSW | Strategies for Middle Powers: Lessons from the G20
Speaker: Christian Downie

The Ethics Centre | IQ2 Debate: The Refugee Convention is out of Date
Speakers: Anna Boucher, Lord Fusitu’a, Greg Sheridan, Paris Aristotle, Erika Feller and Jane McAdam

Wednesday 7 June 2017
SDN Democracy Futures | Quantum: the Next Permanent Revolution?
Speaker: James Der Derian

Thursday 8 June 2017
Politics in the Pub | Stop Westconnex & SOS Green Spaces: Saving Sydney From Bad Planning
Speakers: Jeff Angel and Wendy Bacon

Post-Truth Initiative | On the Origins of Environmental Bullshit: The producers and beneficiaries of post-truth in the environmental arena
Speaker: David Schlosberg

Friday 9 June 2017
Lowy Institute | Understanding the UK Election
A panel discussion about what the results mean for the UK, EU and the world

Sydney Ideas | Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion in the Age of Trump
Speaker: Yolanda Moses

Tuesday 13 June 2017
Institute for Sustainable Futures | Partnering for Impact on Sustainable Development
Two-day interactive conference

Institute for Sustainable Futures | Sydney Forum: Mid-tier Commercial Buildings
Speakers: Shauna Coffey, Rachel Scott, Paul Bannister and Anthony De Francesco

Lowy Institute | 2017 Owen Harries Lecture - American Strategy in the Asia Pacific: President Trump and Beyond
Speaker: Jake Sullivan

Thursday 15 June 2017
Institute of Sustainable Futures | Master Class: Systems Thinking for Impact on Sustainable Development
Speakers: Keren Winterford, Juliet Willetts, Kylie McKenna, Isabel Sebastian and Katie Ross

Sydney Law School | Abuses in the Fight Against ISIS
Speaker: Belkis Wille

Politics in the Pub | Correcting Colonial Narratives: Australia, Israel & South Africa
Speakers: Cathy Peters and Paddy Gibson

The Ethics Centre | Ethics Taster
Speaker: Matthew Beard 

Tuesday 20 June 2017
Sydney Ideas | Turning Urban: Strengths and Vulnerabilities of China’s Collectives in the Process of Urbanisation
Speaker: Luigi Tomba

Wednesday 21 June 2017
Evatt Foundation | National Manufacturing Summit 2017
Speakers: Robert Kuttner, Laura Tingle, Richard Denniss, Roy Green, David Turvey, Jill Sheppard, Sean Wong, Grant Anderson and Jens Goennemann

Sydney Ideas | That’s What She Said: Women in Politics
Speaker: Anna Greenberg

School of Architecture, Design & Planning | Brave New Cities
Speakers: Amanda Steele, Michelle Cramer, Martin Tomitsch, Margot Black and Michael Comninos

Thursday 22 June 2017
Politics in the Pub | 10 Years of Shame: the Northern Territory Intervention
Speakers: Eva Cox and Josie Crawshaw

Friday 23 June 2017
Sydney Peace Foundation | Ode to Syria: an Evening of Syrian Arts and Music from Award-winning Composer Malek Jandali
Speaker: Malek Jandali

Tuesday 27 June 2017
Department of Sociology & Social Policy | The Biopolitics of Epigenetics Symposium
Speakers: Becky Mansfield, Maurizio Meloni, Megan Warin and Isabel Karpin

Sydney Ideas | The War in Syria: the Destruction of Culture and Abuses of Human Rights
Speakers: Ross Burns, Malek Jandali, Eyal Mayroz and Patricia Garcia

Thursday 29 June 2017
Department of Government & International Relations | The Figure of the Citizen in Times of Crisis: Disappearing, Emerging and Reimagined
Speakers: Abi Taylor, Robin Rodd, Anna McNevin, James Ingram, Marion Maddox, Michelle Lobo, Suvendrini Perera, Miguel Vatter, Ian Buchanan, Amanda Tattersall, Sara Motta, Malini Sur, Linda Briskman, Lucy Fiske, Ana Tanasoca and Luara Ferracioli 

Politics in the Pub | War in Syria: Who Is Responsible?
Speakers: Tim Anderson and Michael Karadjis

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