Special Minister of State, Senator The Hon Joe Ludwig, Launches Democracy Book

Thursday 15 October 2009

Senator The Hon Joe Ludwig joined numerous College of Arts & Social Sciences alumni, staff & students and their guests in launching the publication, Australia: The State of Democracy.

Written by CASS’ Political Scientists, Professor Marian Sawer AO, Dr Norman Abjornsen and Dr Phil Larkin, the book outlines how Australia was an early pioneer of a notional democracy that is now prescribed as inseparable from good governance, as a recipe for accountability and as an antidote to corruption.


But how healthy is Australian democracy now?  Since 2002 the Democratic Audit of Australia has been applying internationally tested indicators deriving from four principles – political equality, popular control of government, civil liberties and human rights, and the quality of public debate and discussion – to Australian political institutions and practices.


The Audit takes and analyses data from the Australian Commonwealth, States and Territories as well as from three comparative democracies – Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for reform.


Australia: The State of Democracy informs Australian and international readers as to how well Australia measures up against democratic values. Authored by key members of the Democratic Audit team – Professor Marian Sawer, Dr Norman Abjorensen and Dr Philip Larkin – the book interprets Audit findings in a highly readable and accessible form and identifies the changes necessary to achieve a real democracy.


Australia: The State of Democracy is published by The Federation Press and can be purchased through their online store here.


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