John Keane

John Keane is an Australian political theorist whose original work on democracy and civil society is regarded around the world as essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the nature of contemporary politics. Currently Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney and at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, Keane spent much of his early career in Britain, where he made his name as a theorist of civil society. As well as for respected studies of Tom Paine and Václav Havel, he is perhaps best known for his book The Life and Death of Democracy, which challenged our historical assumptions about the nature of democracy and introduced the concept of ‘monitory democracy’, a vision of continuous public scrutiny of all decision-makers both inside and outside the conventional parameters of politics. Polity has published his The Media and Democracy, Civil Society: Old Images, New Visions and Dialogues on Democracy.