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Democratic Transformations: A conversation on systemic change

6 February 2024

Juliet Room, Verity Lane Market, Sydney Building, 50 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra ACT

Reception: 5:30 pm

Panel discussion: 6:00 – 7:15 pm

Democracies’ responses to environmental crises, health emergencies, and racial violence have been unsatisfactory, to say the least. Hyper-partisan politics have taken over our representative democracies, rendering our democratic institutions vulnerable to political deadlocks and cheap political point-scoring.

While there are many reasons to lose trust in our democracy, there are also many reasons to fight for it. You are invited to join a conversation on how we can transform Australia’s democracy and chart pathways for systemic change.

Our discussion will kick off with three international speakers who will share lessons from democratic innovations that have taken off all over the world and demonstrate how randomly selected citizen bodies, decolonising and anti-racist action, and listening to nature and nonhumans can transform democracies today. This will be followed by an open discussion, where audiences can propose their own ideas for democratic transformation.


Hans Asenbaum is the author of The Politics of Becoming: Anonymity and Democracy in the Digital Age. He is senior research fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy & Global Governance at the University of Canberra.

Yves Sintomer is the author of The Government of Chance Sortition and Democracy from Athens to the Present. He is a Professor of Political Science at the Institut Universitaire de France.

Melissa Williams is the founding director of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics. She is the author and editor of numerous books, including Voice, Trust, and Memory: Marginalized Groups and the Failings of Liberal Representation.

This event launches the new blog series on Democratic Transformations led by the Centre for Deliberative Democracy & Global Governance and the European Consortium for Political Research. Read the blog here.

Registration is a must — secure your spot now through this link.

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