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Women keep democracy’s heart beating in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Women keep democracy’s heart beating in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe [First published in The Conversation, and co-written with Mark Chou and Tezcan Gumus, this essay was borne from the deeply satisfying effect of a group of women, from a country maligned for its Mugabe relation, visiting various Australian parliaments and asking: where are your women, where are your […]

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Questions about the New Democratic Theory

Questions about the New Democratic Theory [This conversation with David Held was our second. The first, on cosmopolitanism and democracy, appears here. For the second, I traveled from Toronto to London in early 2012 and met with him at his (then) London School of Economics office (I remember a football jersey, signed, in a frame, […]

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Introduction: New Democratic Theory?

New Democratic Theory? [This is the introductory chapter to my second book, Democratic Theorists in Conversation: Turns in Contemporary Thought, published in 2014 by Palgrave Macmillan. It, as the chapter title suggests, offers an inquiry into whether the field of democracy studies/democratic theory is entering new ground. This line of inquiry is the most commented […]

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Arguments against Evolutionary Democracy

Arguments Against Evolutionary Democracy [This is the 4th chapter to my first book Evolutionary Basic Democracy published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013. I was visiting my parents when writing it and have sweet memories of typing from my childhood’s dining table where, decades prior, relatives had held me accountable to my vegetables and there, decades […]

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Does ecological policy have to be so cruel?

Embracing epistemic multiplicity offers a different way

Does ecological policy have to be so cruel? Embracing epistemic multiplicity offers a different way Originally published by ABC Religion & Ethics, 24 Jan 2020. Co-authored with Robin Ladwig and Hannah Barrowman. [The original motivation for this article was the over-application of a positivist epistemology in the management of so-called invasive species in Australia and […]

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Resist and Revivify. Democratic theory in a time of defiance

Resist and Revivify: Democratic Theory in a Time of Defiance Originally published by Democratic Theory, June 2017. Co-authored with Dr Emily Beausoleil. [I remember preparing the issue of Democratic Theory that this editorial prefaces during a very difficult time, politically. These were the early days of a shock Trump presidency, of a deeply confused Brexit […]

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Globalizing the Intellectual History of Democracy

Professor Samuel Moyn (Yale) and Jean-Paul Gagnon (Canberra) in conversation.

Globalizing the Intellectual History of Democracy Originally published by Democratic Theory, 7(1), Summer 2020. Pp. 99-107. [The drive for this conversation, with Professor Samuel Moyn, came in most part out of a trend I had been observing in the democratic theory literature. There is a double dynamic at play, particularly over the last 15 or […]

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Suppressed Democracy in China: Theoretical Rationalisation using a Cosmopolitan Methodology

Surpressed Democracy in China: Theoretical Rationalisation using a Cosmopolitan Methodology Originally published February 9, 2011, by the Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (online April 1, 2014). [How red-cheeked one can get running into a short, brash, essay written by their younger self. Nearly ten years have passed since this small push in a magazine […]

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The Democratic University

The Democratic University Originally published by Arena, 3 September, 2020. [This essay is motivated by the literature on university democracy but also the complex landscape of lived experiences of academics working in universities: this includes my own experiences from working with six universities but is primarily motivated by the stories that are made known to […]

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