the greening of democracy

Date: 2013-01-30
Time: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Naturvetarhuset, N 430
The event is for: students - anyone - employees

January 30 2013 Professor John Keane visits Umeå University to talk about the "audit society" from a democratic perspective. Keane has developed and utilizes the concept of ’monitory democracy’ to visualize how democracy have changed through different audit institutions within and outside the public sector.

In his first lecture (10:00–12:00) Keane developes his thought about monitory democracy.

The second lecture (13.00–15.00) is about how democracy change in green direction, and also about the significance of the audit institutions.

John Keane is Professor in Politics at the University of Sydney and at Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB). He is also superintendent for the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (IDHR).

Read more about John Keane at

Premises: Naturvetarhuset N 430 (both lectures)

Monitory Democracy? • 30/1 10:00–12:00

This lecture proposes a fundamental revision of the way we think about democracy in our times. The bold claim is that, from roughly the mid-twentieth century, we have been living through an historic sea change, one that is taking us from the old world of representative democracy towards a form of monitory democracy defined by the multiplication and dispersal of many different power-monitoring and power-contesting mechanisms, both within the ‘domestic’ fields of government and civil society and beyond, in cross-border settings that were once dominated by empires, states and business organisations. Questions are raised about the causes and causers of this new historical form of democracy, its advantages and disadvantages, and why it has fundamental implications for how we think and practice democracy in the coming decades.

The Greening of Democracy • 30/1 13:00–15:00

This talk suggests that the greening of democracy runs far beyond spreading public talk of sustainability and climate justice. It’s more consequential than disputes about the price of carbon and emissions trading schemes. The trend includes the birth of new instruments of representation, such as green parties, pirate parties and environmental courts. Less obviously, it includes novel power-monitoring mechanisms such as deliberative forums, bio-regional assemblies and earth watch networks. The trend prompts a basic question: are we human beings capable of democratising ourselves? John Keane suggests that the question has at least three pointed parts. Can we human beings humble ourselves by collectively recognising our ineluctably deep dependence upon the ecosystems in which we dwell? Can we simultaneously find new ways of practically extending voices and votes in human affairs to our ecosystems? Third, and consequently, is it possible in theory and practice to rid the whole idea of democracy of its anthropocentrism?

Lecturer: Professor John Keane
Organizer: Centrum för utvärderingsforskning (UCER), statsvetenskap och sociologi
Contact person: Anders Hanberger
Event type: Lecture
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