John Keane | Articles & Essays JK
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Articles & Essays JK

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Why Google is a Political Matter?: A conversation with Julian Assange

Since the last time we were together inside his prison lodgings at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, a few things have changed. Julian Assange has grown a beard, looks more pallid and pauses when I ask after his general health. His legal team are...

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09 June 2015
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The End of Representative Politics?

[caption id="attachment_9806" align="alignnone" width="800"] Acampada, Barcelona, 21/05/1011[/caption] The following notes on the future of democratic representation were inspired by Simon Tormey’s The end of representative politics (2015), launched at a Gleebooks event organised by the Sydney Democracy Network (SDN), May 15th...

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20 May 2015
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The Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong: a second Tiananmen?

Are political developments in Hong Kong heading for a second Tiananmen massacre? A fortnight ago, partly to provoke discussion, partly to sound an alarm, I suggested in a radio interview that unless the Chinese government wisely handled the fast-unfolding dynamics, things in...

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03 October 2014
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Antarctica: Notes on the Fate of Sovereignty

[caption id="attachment_8881" align="alignnone" width="800"] Image: Fumarole near the base of Mount Erebus, Ross Island, Antarctica nexttriptourism.com[/caption] The following field notes grapple with the problem of how to understand the emergent polity of Antarctica, and why its break with the language and...

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24 June 2014
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Concentration Camps and Democracy

Manus Island camp Refugee Action Coalition The following commentary on the Abbott government’s policy of forcibly preventing people from seeking asylum within Australia has aroused considerable controversy. Several thousand public and private comments, from a wide variety of sources, have so far...

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29 April 2014
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At knife’s edge: elections and democracy in Thailand

The future shape of Thailand is up for grabs, and if democracy survives, it won't resemble the 'Washminster' system that the West is used to, writes John Keane. [caption id="attachment_7792" align="alignnone" width="700"] Anti-government protesters march in Bangkok on January 17, 2014....

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21 January 2014
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Lou Reed and rock ‘n’ roll democracy

Vibrant democracies need sharp-angled and unceremonious characters like Lou Reed who can rail against imperiousness and conformity, writes John Keane. [caption id="attachment_9170" align="alignnone" width="741"] PHOTO: Lou Reed embodied detached cool and passionate anger. (Tracey Nearmy: AAP)[/caption]   It's said often that democracy requires...

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17 November 2013
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