Born in Australia and educated at the Universities of Adelaide, Toronto and Cambridge, John Keane is Professor of Politics at the University of Westminster and at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB). In 1989 he founded the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) . Among his many books are The Media and Democracy (1991), which has been translated into more than twenty-five languages; Democracy and Civil Society (1988; 1998); Reflections on Violence (1996); Civil Society: Old Images, New Visions (1998); the prize-winning biography Tom Paine: A Political Life (1995); and a study of power in twentieth century Europe, Václav Havel: A Political Tragedy in Six Acts (1999). Among his most recent works are Violence and Democracy (2004), and Global Civil Society? (2003). In recent years, he has held the prestigious Karl Deutsch Professorship in Berlin and served as a Fellow of the influential London-based think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). He was recently awarded a Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust (more here). The Times of London has ranked him as one of Britain's leading political thinkers and writers whose work has "a world-wide importance". The Australian Broadcasting Commission recently described him as “one of the great intellectual exports from Australia”.
His current research interests include the future of global governance; fear, violence and democracy; citizenship and civil society in Europe; the history of secularism; public life and freedom of communication in the digital age; eighteenth-century republicanism; the origins and future of representative government; and the philosophy and politics of Islam.
In Germany, Britian, the Netherlands, and Australia, he has just presented public lectures on the twenty-first centuries enemies of democracy.
A consultant to the United Nations and the Evolution of Global Values project at the University of Leiden and a recent member of the American-based Institutions of Democracy Commission, he is currently completing a full-scale history of democracy - the first for over a century and the subject of a 30-part BBC Radio series to be transmitted in late 2010.
[complete list of publications and additional information is available on www.johnkeane.net]
Books Authored or Edited
The Life and Death of Democracy (June 2009)
Presenting the first grand history of democracy for well over a century, this book poses along the way some tough and timely question and confronts its readers with an entirely fresh and irreverent look at the past, present and future of democracy (read more here)
CIVIL SOCIETY: Berlin Perspectives
Edited by John Keane (2006)
At the moment, no other European city attracts so much fascination as the city of Berlin. (read more)
Violence and Democracy (2004)
In this provocative book, John Keane calls for a fresh understanding of the vexed relationship between democracy and violence. (Read More)
Global Civil Society? (2003)
John Keane here traces the historical origins, present-day meanings and political potential of the idea of Global Civil Society. (Read More)
Whatever Happened to Democracy? (2002)
Just over a decade ago, talk of the global triumph of democracy beamed around the world... (Read More)
Vaclav Havel - A Political Tragedy in Six Acts (2000)
The unknown man behind the hero revered as one key figure of 20th Century history. (Read More)
Old Images, New Visions (1998)
In this book John Keane examines the various sources and phases of the world-wide popularization of the term 'civil society'. (Read More)
A Political Life (1996)
Tracing the life of one of the most highly regarded political figures of his generation... (Read More)
The Media and Democracy (1991)
In this book, John Keane reconsiders the origins and subsequent patterns of development of the old European ideal of 'liberty of the press'. (Read More)
Reflection on Violence (1996)
In this book John Keane argues that among the paradoxes of this long century of violence is... (Read More)
Changing Nature of Democracy (1998) [Editor]
This volume gathers essays by eminent scholars who point to a changing and broadening agenda of democracy. (Read More)
Nomads of the Present - Social Movements and Individual Needs in Contemporary Society. (1989) [Editor]
Civil Society and the State (1988) [Editor]
Democracy and Civil Society (1988)
Contemporary Transfromation of Work and Politics (1985) [Editor] (Read More)
The Power of the Powerless (1985) [Editor]
Citizens against the state in central-eastern Europe
Public Life and Late Capitalism: Toward a Socialist Theory of Democracy (1984)
Contradictions of the Welfare State, (Editor)
Essays and Articles
A European Citizen? (German translation)
Leicht überarbeitete und übersetzte Version eines Vortrages am Zentrum für Niederlande-Studien der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster, 8. Januar 2008 - for the English version of this essay go here 2008 PDF
Hypocrisy and Democracy - The gap between ideals and perceived reality is widening
Published in WZB-Mitteilungen n. 120 June 2008 (pp. 30-32) the whole Magazine here 2008 PDF
Civil Society and Ageing
Nova Acta Leopoldina NF 99, Nr. 36 (2008) with Zusammenfassung 2008 PDF
The Indian Express - Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 2007 HTML
Does Democracy Have a Violent Heart?
Rough draft comments prepared for the War, Culture and Democracy Project conference, The University of Sydney, 4-6 July 2006.
2006 PDF Word
Democracy, a short history
Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
2006 HTML PDF Word
Introduction: Cities and Civil Society 2006 HTML PDF Word
A European Citizen? (German translation here) 2005 HTML PDF Word
Por que a democracia? 2005 HTML
Democracy: the Rule of Nobody? 2004 HTML PDF Word
Journalism and Democracy Across Borders 2004 HTML PDF Word
The Abdicator 2003 HTML PDF Word
Der Elfenbeinturm und die Zivilgesellschaft [‘The Ivory Tower and Civil Society']'
in Arnd Bauerkaemper (ed.), Die Praxis der Zivilgesellschaft. Akteure, Handeln und Strukturen im internationalen Vergleich (Frankfurt am Main 2003), pp. 383-395
2003 HTML PDF Word
Voting at 16 2002 HTML PDF Word
Global Civil Society?
Chapter 2, pp. 23-47, in Helmut Anheier, Marlies Glasius, and Mary Kaldor (eds.), Global Civil Society 2001, Oxford University Press.
Some Reflections On The Good Citizen 1999 HTML PDF Word
Nations, Nationalism, and the European Citizen 1993 HTML PDF Word