Based at the University of Sydney with a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific region, the Sydney Democracy Network is non-partisan. It stands for a broad rethinking of democracy, not only as a form of government but as a way of life committed to greater equality and the accountability of power.
Our research combines a number of interconnected clusters and is guided by an ethos of experiment. The subject of democracy requires bold and creative thinking because contemporary politics and political thinking are failing in their efforts to name, explain and engage with a wide range of new global realities.
Our work also encourages a strong sense of historical awareness, not just because in matters of democracy ignorance of the past inevitably spawns misunderstandings of the present, but also because democracy is a uniquely time-sensitive political form that sharpens actors’ shared sense of the contingency of power relations.
Our work is motivated by dissatisfaction with the unthinking habit of applying Western yardsticks when studying democracy. Since its imaginary homelands are changing, scholarly accounts of democracy must be opened to a wide variety of comparative methods and global settings previously ignored or downplayed by scholars.
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